I’d never heard of Maundy Thursday until about a month ago. Belonging to a church that is decidedly invested in tradition and history will introduce one to such things and I love it. I hadn’t really thought about what day the last supper was on, but clearly, it had to be a Thursday, because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. It should have crossed my mind each week as I participated in communion, but for years now, I allowed myself to focus on my own sin and relationships before I commemorated His willingness to die for me because I sin more than I’d like to admit- and that was more important than what day of the week the last supper occupied.
The most significant tradition on Maundy Thursday is washing feet. Not scrubbing our own, but getting down on our knees and bathing another’s lowest appendages. I’ve only encountered this once before- at a bachelor party, of all things. I wasn’t mature enough to appreciate it. But years have passed since then. I thought a lot about this service. I won’t say that I fretted, but I definitely had some reservations about it. I showered before making the drive over to where my church was meeting because I always sweat and I didn’t want my feet to stink. I wore sandals, because I didn’t want to have any lint from my socks between my toes. I cut my toenails because long ones are creepy.
I never thought for a moment about whose feet I’d wash, I was only concerned about my own- they needed to be presentable. Interestingly enough, I basically had the nail from my little toe on my right foot rip off right before the service started. It didn’t gush blood, but I was still concerned about little red blotches showing up on a towel and the people who had to use the water after me.
I realized that in one form or another that I was posturing. I mean, I think I have good hygiene, but I wasn’t worried about the state of my feet as somebody focused on them in an awkwardly intimate moment, but I was concerned about the condition of my soul as another person drew near, even just briefly. I’ll admit any day that I’m a sinner, but when somebody gets close enough to see which sins I’m prone to, I panic.
It’s not as though any of my issues would manifest themselves on my feet- that notion is completely inane! But the feeling points to something else, a vanity that is likely obvious to everyone but myself. I expect flaws in others, but don’t want to show my own. With Good Friday now here and gone, I’m grateful for the fact that the One who truly sees and understands everything that happens in my heart and loves me anyway was given to save me. I’m grateful that somehow I’m tied to the joy that was set before Jesus and I’ll give Him the glory that He’s due. Here’s to a Friday that we call good because we gained so much in one day. I’m looking forward to Sunday.