The summer before each of my girls left for college was bittersweet. I remember the heavy weight of the significance of those last months, a nagging worry I had forgotten something vital to their future success in the process of raising them. Had we covered every possible topic in the preceding 18 years? Did they know how to withdraw money from their bank account? Would they remember to occasionally eat a vegetable? Did they understand the potential dangers of living in a city, talking to strangers, drinking alcohol, being alone with boys and forgetting to wash their sheets and underwear regularly? Would they be a kind and compassionate roommate and a curious and diligent student? Would they get involved, take a chance, meet new people and remember to pray?
That last summer, I wanted to tell them ALL THE THINGS. The deepest desire of my heart was to make sure they were ready to handle life once I wasn’t standing right there beside them.
Our church was completely full Thursday night for the annual Maundy Thursday service. The service began with powerfully poignant music, beautifully setting the stage for the unfolding story of Jesus’ last night with his disciples. As I listened to the familiar scriptures being read and as I meditated on the tableau enactment on the stage, I found myself moved to tears a number of times. What an emotional night that must have been for these men who had been traveling companions for 3 years!
I wonder if Jesus also had a sense of urgency as he prepared his disciples for their pending separation. As I read the Gospel accounts of the final evening in the upper room, I am struck by the power of his message to them, his parting words full of import and significance as if he was grasping this last opportunity to review all he had taught them in the previous 3 years.
I can’t imagine what the disciples must have felt when Jesus kneeled down in front of them and tenderly washed their dirty, dusty feet. Continue reading