Today is known as Maundy Thursday…the Thursday before Easter, observed in the Christian Church as a commemoration of the Last Supper, the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples before his death.
Maundy also means “commandment”, and at that last meal, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
And that is what Jesus was/is all about…Love…not only in this Holy week but always.
This colorful duo caught my eye yesterday. It is so nice to see their affection for each other. If they were my pets I would name them Bill and Coo. What would you name them? Happy Saturday.
You wouldn’t think one could write about feeling love just by attending a concert. But I can.
I attended a St. Patrick’s concert on Saturday night and what I saw and heard touched my heart and soul with love.
Two sisters performed Scottish (Scottish not Irish) dancing while their mother explained the origin of the dances. Their younger sister sang to the accompanying guitar of their dad. The only boy in the family was a very helpful stage hand. It was truly a family affair.
There was a violin duet, a bell choir, a harpist, an Electronic Bagpipes player, and a trio of gents who were brilliant in both song and instruments.
A beautiful rendition of “Lots of Ireland in My Soul” was sung by a lady in memory of her husband who had composed both music and words. Two other soloists filled the hall with lovely song, as well.
At the last minute, one of the performers couldn’t make it and the MC stepped in on short notice with a beautiful rendition of “Danny Boy”. He also did a comic take on “Memories” which had the audience laughing.
There was a husband and wife team who moved us all with “It Is Well With My Soul”; he played the piano while his wife played a steel drum and beautifully sang the hymn. And then there was the same young man’s astounding piano performance which had the audience on their feet at the final chord.
My heart was full of love the whole evening and I’ll tell you why. All of these marvelous performers are members and/or adherents of our church; attendees, employees, volunteers, choir members…wonderful people.
And that’s what I mean by love knows no bounds.
I have come to the conclusion that we need not have a near death experience to get a glimpse of heaven. We get many glimpses of heaven right here on earth. Take for example:
Seeing newborn baby
The look of love in the eye of the beholder
People walking hand in hand (especially the very old and very young)
Observing the universe; sun, moon, stars, galaxies,
The methodical movement of waves on a beach,
The sparkle of sunlight on rippling waters
The first words of an Autistic child who has been speechless for years
An occasional embrace from said child
The feeling of wellness after an illness
The healing of a strained relationship
The calm after the storm
Crocuses breaking through snow covered soil
Walking where Jesus walked
As you take time to catch a glimpse of your own heaven on earth, cherish the experience, and know that the best is yet to come.
Having a peaceful mind is a desired state of being Although there are many things that would try this state of mind, there are also many things to inspire it. Love is one of them; just the thought of love makes for a peaceful mind. For instance, love doesn’t stop at romance if you think about it. Love can be felt for friends, family, acquaintances, pets, nature, food, art, music…you name it.
When love is in our heart there is seldom room for antagonism, meanness, stinginess, jealousy, angst, and many of the other peace-robbing feelings that would inhabit our psyches.
Yes, I know there are various issues to contend with which do not always lend themselves to feelings of love, but showing love in the face of hardships and challenges helps to take away some of the angst in any given situation.
We’ve all seen it in the face of calamities…people showing up in the lives of those whose peace has in some way been stolen from them. That’s a form of love…love for our neighbor whether next door, the next province or state…or even country; like the recent news story of some Canadian air traffic controllers sending pizzas to their American counterparts who are not being paid for their stress inducing jobs of patrolling the skies. Why? Because someone has chosen to think more highly of themselves than their fellow beings…someone who obviously knows nothing of peace-promoting love.
Can love really give a peaceful mind? To me it is so because I love to love and do enjoy a peaceful mind.
Here is a lovely prayer I copied from somewhere at sometime and may have posted before but is worth posting again.
May today be all you need it to be. May the peace of God and the freshness of the Holy Spirit rest in your thoughts, rule in your dreams tonight, and conquer all your fears. May God manifest himself today in ways you have never experienced. May your joys be fulfilled, your dreams be closer, and your prayers be answered. I pray that faith enters a new height for you; I pray that your territory is enlarged. I pray for peace, healing, health, happiness, prosperity, joy, true and undying love for God. Amen.
Whether you are celebrating Christmas in a Christian or secular way, may yours be blessed with all things that include love, goodwill, kindness and peace.
“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NIV