Maundy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday. As such, it’s the day we remember Jesus’ washing His disciples’ feet and instituting a new commandment (from the Latin: mandatum) to love one another. This means it’s also a great time to share what I observe to be a little bit of comedy in Scripture, evidence (at least to me) that our Lord has an excellent sense of humor.

John 13: 9-10: “Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, ‘The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, not not every one of you.”

I realize Jesus was using this short exchange to subtly imply that he knew who would betray him (and this is where the rational comes from that Jesus washed Judas’ feet, too, since no where does it say Jesus washed all the disciples’ feet except Judas).

I love what Matthew Henry’s commentary says about the whole passage: “Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, that he might teach us to think nothing below us, wherein we may promote God’s glory, and the good of our brethren.” In his response, Jesus shows Peter and the others present (and us by extension) that those who truly desire to be cleansed will be cleansed by calling Jesus Lord.

But! I also think our Lord was gently teasing his friend Peter, saying basically, “Dude, you’ve already had a bath and don’t need another one.” And these glimpses of his humanity make me love him all the more.


Unaccompanied minor prayers

The strangest thing happened to me on Saturday, and when you read it, you will think I’m crazy and also dumb. On Saturday, our friends held a garage sale to raise money for their adoption of two little girls from Ethiopia. I had told the wife that I would come over to help. Around 9 a.m., she sent a text message to our group asking that we all pray for business. Things were pretty slow.

I am really terrible at the job of praying. So much so that when I do it and the Lord responds in the way I hope, I am surprised he heard me and I figure someone else much more prayerful than I was praying as well. When a  prayer of mine is answered in the way that I wanted, I usually think someone else’s prayers vouched for mine when they got to the throne.

Anyway, on Saturday, I decided to pray before I left to go to Kat’s house to help with the sale. I sat at the dining table and quietly mentioned to God that we believe this adoption is in his plan and that he will provide all the resources necessary to complete his work. Then Brandon and I left to go to the garage sale.

We arrived on our bikes and pulled them into the backyard. A herd of people was there pawing through bins of clothes and tchotchkes. Kat quietly told us that moments before, a huge rush had come along and they were suddenly slammed. The rush continued all morning, and Brandon was able to help communicate with the Spanish-speaking families.

It seemed business was steady but not overwhelming. It wasn’t until later that I found out the sale made more than $1,300. I was glad for our friends, but I didn’t think much of it. Later, I stopped and realized I prayed for these people. And despite my unbelief, God listened. It probably helped that others were praying, too. Still, I wish I weren’t so shocked when God moves so clearly.

Does anyone else feel that way, too?

International Politics, Religion

How to Spin an Iranian Politico-Religious Scandal:

It is my humble impression that a large liberal contingent exists in Iran. So when the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, condemns Ahmadinejad for touching Hugo Chaves’ mother at a state funeral I can’t help but believe about 50% of the population is thinking “oh brother, here we go.”

This seems like Ahmadinejad’s perfect opportunity to say “I’m with it, I’m hip,” and court that large segment of the population who thinks he’s far from hip and/or with it. Think about it – right now Ahmadinejad has pain and suffering on his side. To condemn a man for comforting a mother who just lost her son to cancer would be heartless and insensitive.