Wow, can you believe it’s already Maundy Thursday? It feels like it wasn’t that long ago that I deciding what to give up for Lent. Okay, I’m a bad (good?) procrastinator and it actually wasn’t that long ago that I was deciding what to give up for Lent. There are a lot of good meditations on what Maundy Thursday means. This is not one. (You can find one here)
The triduum is upon us. It’s a great time of year when Episcopalians and other liturgical churches get to break out the obscure jargon that’s known for making us so approachable. So just in case you were unaware, ‘maunday’ comes from the same root word as ‘mandate’ referring to when Jesus told people to do this in remembrance of me and to love one another as he had loved them.
But Maundy Thursday is also when remember Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and therefore today is that great day when churches across the nation offer free pedicures. Of course by pedicures I mean, they’ll rinse your feet off with water that, if you’re lucky, they’ve heated up a tad. (I suppose seminaries and cosmetology schools don’t offer much in the way of collaboration) But if you’ve ever gotten to participate in one of these services, the symbolism remains – having the church you adore wash the scummiest part of your body, resisting the urge to say, “no, thanks, I can take care of myself here,” and putting what is most vital and vulnerable into the hands of God.
As someone who has hiked in the dessert with Chaco sandals, I can attest to how quickly nastiness probably built up on Jesus’ disciples’ feet. Which is why this evening when I go up to get my feet washed, I’m doing my best to make sure they’re not pre-pedicured dainty feet that I work for during sandal season, but dirty, hairy toed (that’s right- I just admitted that I have hairy toes) and as despicable as I can muster. You know, to make it more true to life.
If I do become a clergyperson, I’m really going to regret writing this.