Global Ministries: The United Methodist ChurchClick to skip to content.

 About Us  Our Work  Get Connected  How to Give  Resources  Mission News
Facebook Twitter YouTube print. email.

Maundy Thursday in Lent: Sacred Moments with God

by Steve Claris

Steve Claris
Steve Claris serves with the United Methodist Choctaw Mission in Mississippi, in community outreach and leadership development.
Image by: GBGM Administration

When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God." After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. (Luke 22:14-20)

The drive around Conehatta, Mississippi, was a scouting mission for Volunteer in Mission (VIM) work sites. Many VIM teams visit the tribal lands of the Mississippi Band of the Choctaw Indians and do home repairs. Henry, my Choctaw friend and Tribal Facilities Manager, was introducing me to needy folks in his neighborhood. As we cruised the roads of the community, the conversation migrated from a mundane to-do list to matters of faith.

As a lifelong Christian, Henry is now nearing retirement and is concerned about the future of the Choctaw people. He has participated in their struggle to rise above poverty. Once, the Choctaw had been described as the poorest people in the poorest state. Life was hard, "but people were more kind, giving, and helpful toward each other. Nowadays everyone wants to be paid for every little thing." People seemed to be forgetting their heritage.

Through military service and other employment, Henry has experienced other cultures and "learned the white man's ways" but he is no less a Choctaw now than that little boy, sixty years ago, learning about Jesus from his Grandma.

Thousands of years ago, Jesus earnestly desired to celebrate the Passover with his closest friends. During that last supper, he created the first Holy Communion, a sacrament of remembrance. Today, we remember God's love for us before we could love ourselves. We remember the struggle, the pain, the suffering of Christ before our captive souls were set free. We remember the peace of the Spirit entering our hearts--we really are children of God!

Or do we foolishly let ourselves be caught up in a frenetic soul-numbing pace of life, texting, chatting, or twittering away what would have been a precious moment with our Creator/Redeemer/Sustainer. Are sacred moments with God on my to-do list as a Church and Community Worker? Just asking the question is a step in the right direction.

Constant gratitude, remembering the provision of the Creator, is a key part of Native American spirituality.

What if we let ourselves be caught up in a constant, soul-feeding, life of gratitude? And that gratitude birthed generosity and compassion? What if we remember all the sacrifices made to bring us this life of grace? What if we remember to live as "little Christs" so that others can see a different way of living? What if we always remembered we are children of God?

Well, we would be living a great adventure and be nobody's fool, April or otherwise.

Steve Claris is a Church and Community Worker with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, serving with the United Methodist Choctaw Mission in Mississippi, in community outreach and leadership development.

Lent/Easter Devotions from Church and Community Workers, and other resources.

Your local church may choose to enter into a multi-year Covenant Relationship with Stephen Claris,  or other United Methodist missionaries, for ongoing support of their work. For further information, please contact:

The Advance
General Board of Global Ministries
475 Riverside Dr, #350
New York, NY 10115
Phone: 212-870-3718
Fax: 212-870-3775



You can make gifts to support the mission work of Stephen Claris, by making a donation through The Advance. The Advance is an accountable, designated giving arm of The United Methodist Church that ensures 100% of each gift reaches its intended mission or ministry.

Make a secure gift online: Visit Global Ministries Online Giving

Checks may be written to 'Advance GCFA' and placed in collection plates at United Methodist churches, or mailed directly to:

Advance GCFA,
P.O. Box 9068, GPO,
New York, NY 10087-9068.

Credit card donations may be made by calling
(888) 252-6174.

Please note on your check the name and The Advance Number of the missionary you are supporting:

Stephen Claris, Advance Number: 3020817
>> Biography

See Also...
Topic: Lent Missionaries
Geographic Region: United States
Source: GBGM Mission News

arrow icon. View Listing of Missionaries Currently Working in: United States   

Date posted: Mar 26, 2010