iBelieve

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Maundy Thursday Service


For the second year in a row, a member of my church read the poem below written by Lucy Nanson, from New Zealand, at the Maundy Thursday service. Following this reading, everyone was invited to form two lines up in the center aisle to have one of two pastors pour water on our hands from a bowl at the front of church while making the sign of the cross on our palms. Next to each bowl were little wash cloths, neatly rolled up in a basket, to dry the hands.

Just like last year, my emotions were heightened and I had tears in my eyes while I listened to the poem and thought about how my hands fit many of the descriptions.

Maundy Thursday: Wash My Hands

Wash my hands on Maundy Thursday

not my feet

My hands peel potatoes, wipe messes from the floor

change dirty nappies, clean the grease from pots and pans

have pointed in anger and pushed away in tears

in years past they’ve smacked a child and raised a fist

fumbled with nervousness, shaken with fear

I’ve wrung them when waiting for news to come

crushed a letter I’d rather forget

covered my mouth when I’ve been caught out

touched forbidden things, childhood memories do not grow dim

These hands have dug gardens, planted seeds

picked fruit and berries, weeded out and pruned trees

found bleeding from the rose’s thorns

dirt and blood mix together

when washed before a cup of tea

Love expressed by them

asks for your respect

in the hand-shake of warm greeting,

the gentle rubbing of a child’s bump

the caressing of a lover, the softness of a baby’s cheek

sounds of music played by them in tunes upon a flute

they’ve held a frightened teenager,

touched a father in his death

where cold skin tells the end of life has come

but not the end of love,

comforted a mother losing agility and health.

With my hands outstretched before you

I stand humbled and in awe

your gentle washing in water, the softness of the towel

symbolizing a cleansing

the servant-hood of Christ.

Wash my hands on Maundy Thursday

and not my feet.

At the end of the service all lights went out in the church and the final moments of light at dusk was nearly the only light available to aid a handful of church members as they stripped the altar while my Pastor sang Psalm 22. For on this evening, Jesus is going to be betrayed by one of his disciples.

I was listening to a talk show on Moody Radio yesterday called Chris Fabry Live, and a caller mentioned that two people that night actually betrayed Jesus. Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus with a kiss and Peter denied knowing Him after His arrest.

This caller made me think about all the times I betrayed Jesus in my life. Judas could have asked for forgiveness and it would have been given. This breaks my heart to know that out of the guilt he felt, he hung himself without any attempt to seek forgiveness. Peter, on the other hand, recalled Jesus’s words predicting his betrayal, and he wept, asked for forgiveness, was granted it and used this as a stepping stone to witness for Christ.

Friends, it is not too late for you to ask for forgiveness for denying or betraying Jesus in your lifetime. As the events unfold for Jesus on this Good Friday, His arms will stretch out as wide as they can on the cross. His arms are opened wide for everyone to fit inside His embrace which never lets go.

Psalm 22:7 “Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver–let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”

Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: