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Friday, 14 April 2017

Mandatum novum

Mandatum novum - a new commandment. From this phrase from the Gospel of St John, the Thursday before Easter, Maundy Thursday, takes its name. The new commandment of our Lord was, of course, to love one another, as he loves us.
In St Thomas a Becket Church Hamburg, following the solemn liturgy of the Lord's Supper and Washing of Feet, some members of the parish, including some of the adult candidates who will be confirmed at the Easter Vigil joined the Revd Canon Dr Leslie Nathaniel, the Chaplain and me for a simple meal, and some rich conversation. The mood of the sacred rites we had just celebrated seemed to be still among us and we reflected on the meaning of love, and what it means to say that God is love. We spoke about what that signifies for those who are not Christian, or who never will be, in terms of God's gracious embrace of them. We reflected on how we address this central teaching in our dialogue with this of other religions. We spoke of the wonder of our salvation, through the Eternal Word, born among us, living as one of us, dying on the cross and rising again, to bring us home to the Father.
This is a congregation which clearly likes to talk theology!
Post Maundy Liturgy meal and discussion

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