Friday, March 25, 2005

Monday Thursday

My husband and I went to church last night. We recently joined a Lutheran church in town that we both really enjoy going to. Finding a church we could both enjoy was a bigger task than we thought it would be, as we like different styles of services -- Husband would like more music, and I enjoy the more "classic" style Lutheran service -- the kind I grew up in.

I was a minister's daughter. No, not that kind. But last night just before my husband and me decided to go to church, we both had a laugh about "Monday Thursday".

When we were growing up, we both thought that instead of "Maundy Thursday", the Thursday before Good Friday and Easter, that people were saying "Monday Thursday". Of course as small kids, this was very confusing to us, considering how much it took to memorize the days of the week and the order they came in.

In truth, Maundy Thursday is celebrated in our church as the night of that Last Supper between Jesus and his disciples, during which time Jesus took the role of servant and washed his disciples' feet.

Now stay with me, here. I'm not here to convert anybody.

The point of the service was to illustrate that the servant is as important as the master, and that the messenger is as important as the person sending the message. As Lutherans (and perhaps this is a human condition), it's very easy for us to "give" -- be the one to wash feet -- for example, but it's harder to LET someone wash our feet. We tend to get all uncomfortable with that kind of thing, you know.

At our church, there were foot-washers and several foot-washing stations put throughout the church, and we filed forward to have our feet washed. It was largely symbolic, as no one was getting out the loofahs and scrubbing anything, but my feet got wet and dried, and the story was told about how Jesus did this for his disciples on the night he was betrayed.

You don't have to be a Christian to appreciate this story, in fact I still struggle with my own faith. But stories like these always help me to bring home the fact that Christianity isn't about just "Go forth and subdue the earth". It's about taking care of each other, and also allowing someone else to take care of us.


Sheri said...

How true Jules. When I was reading your post, I swear I got an uncomfortable feeling when I read that someone else would wash my feet. I was thinking " oh no, I could wash yours though"

Very, very interesting reading.

Tammy said...

It is a powerful and moving service, breaking down barriers. There something healing about someone kneeling before you as your servant, for us, it is symbolism, but it can mean so much to a community and becoming part of that community. Thanks for sharing your special evening. I know you are on a journey, my friend... right here with ya!


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