The Word at the Center: Love

A few years ago, a friend gave me a book of blessings and prayers written by Jan Richardson, and I continue to return to her writing again and again during moments that lead me to pause – the beautiful, the sacred, the difficult. Maundy Thursday, for me and maybe for you, intertwines the three.

On her website, The Painted Prayerbook, Richardson writes in her reflection, “Holy Thursday: At the Table, Speaking of Love,” (© Jan Richardson.

Holy Thursday draws us to the table, in the company of Jesus and the disciples as he begins to speak his final words on this side of his dying. The disciples will not understand everything Jesus has to say, will not be able to comprehend fully the import of what he is telling them, but his words will sear themselves into their hearts nonetheless. These are the words that will return to the disciples later, in that bewildering time known as after. These are the words that will comfort them and also stir their courage for the path that waits for them still.


But for now, they, and we, are at the table. As the night unfolds, we will see that the word at the center of Jesus’ vocabulary is this:




The weeks after Spring Break can be some of the most frantic of the semester, for students and for their campus ministers. Amidst planning for worship services and Spring programs, stuffing plastic Easter eggs and Bible studies, NCAA Basketball watch parties and caring for students whose emotions are often heightened (both the highs and the lows), we are each still pilgrims journeying together through Good Friday to Resurrection joy.

In the midst of this Holy Week and Easter, in the midst of the busy and the mundane, in the midst of the sacred and the difficult, I pray you will have the opportunity to center yourself in God’s word to you and to our world: Love.

Peace and blessings,