Today is Holy Thursday, sometimes called "Maundy Thursday" after the Latin word for mandate -- Jesus mandated communion when he said "do this in remembrance of me." Personally, I don't like the Maundy language and prefer to stick with the older "Holy Thursday". On this day, in the first Holy Week, Jesus gathered with his closest friends for the traditional "Seder Meal" in an upper room in Jerusalem. It is deeply significant that Jesus would choose this meal -- an ordered symbolic retelling/reliving of Israel's deliverance from slavery in Egypt -- to create and, in some ways, recreate a way to retell, relive and remember his life, death and resurrection. Far beyond the sense of "mandate" is this sense of anemnesis (reliving) Jesus act of self giving, self surrender, self emptying that accomplishes the reconnection of a self centered wandering world back to God.
Holy Thursday is filled with other images as well. There is the foot washing, religiously practiced in some Christian traditions but generally only practiced this night. Jesus demonstrates for us servant leadership in this act of grace. There is the culmination of Judas' betrayal when he arrives in the Garden of Gethsemane with temple guards and, what on surface could only be called, a lynch mob. There is the profound prediction and later the painful fulfillment of Peter's three fold denial (restored and forgiven with a three fold I love you in John 21 after the resurrection). I can hear the rooster's crow. . .
Holy Thursday -- gathered with friends, reexperiencing the love and grace of God, remembering, Jesus.