Maundy Thursday Sonnet

From a Wikipedia entry:

The word Maundy is derived through Middle English, and Old French mandé, from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” (“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you”), the statement by Jesus in the Gospel of John (13:34) by which Jesus explained to the Apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet.

This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21)

I love because you first loved me: your love

With irresistible enticement paid

In blood, has won my heart; and, unafraid,

Of all but self, I’m driven now to love.

I love because you first loved me: your love

Has transformed all my calculations, made

A farce of love based on exchange, displayed

Extravagant self-giving from above.

I love because you first loved me: without

Regenerating power provided by

Your Son’s propitiating death, no doubt

My strongest love would be the mighty “I.”

Your self-originating love’s alone–

The motive, standard, power of my own.

                    D.A. Carson, Holy Sonnets of the Twentieth Century

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