Prison: A Maundy Meditation
Prison is a lonely place to be. It is a place without hope. No hope of escaping those walls that men have built. Yet over time, one begins to depend on the very same walls he once despised. Believe it or not, this is true. With time walls are transformed into something they once were not, something you once would have never dreamed they could have become. And for those who have been there the longest, life outside those walls becomes a very scary thing.
Isn’t it strange to see two people talking, one from one prison and one from another? Bumping awkwardly into one another they shout from a distance, separated only by the walls that men have built?
A faceless warden controls the guards who lock down prisons. A faithless prisoner puts his trust in deceptive guards. Such officers wear a badge that reads in-Security. They carry pistols of pride and sticks of shame. They stand in towers of twisted truth, on top of walls that men have built.
And here I am. I stand here naked, scared. I am scared because I feel exposed. I feel exposed because I see that you have torn down the walls that men had built. The very walls that I despised I truly became dependent upon. And now I do not know what to do. Yet, you speak to me. You tell me that I am right where I need to be, that you are my wall of protection, that you are my security, that in you, I am to depend.
You have to stop me often, and show me where I have resumed work on the wall that men had built. But tonight my prayer is that I will turn to you, that I will trust in you, and I will wait on you. For unless you do the work I only labor in vain. But if I wait on you I will one day soar above any wall that man could build. And should I find myself imprisoned once again by thoughts or feelings you whisper to me strongly:
Fear not, those are only walls that men have built.
I know this is pretty irrelevant, but I was wondering what “Maundy Thursday” was. My daughter plays drums for the local Highlanders, and they practice at a church. I drove her to practice last night and noticed a sign mentioning “Maundy Thursday.” I finally looked it up. I guess I always thought of Passover (for me, anyway) as the commemoration of “the Last Supper.” It find it so strange that the church would disregard a perfectly good and pre-existing commemoration of that event and “reinvent the wheel,” so to speak.
I’m sorry if this all seems irreverent of me, but I didn’t spend a lot of time in a traditional church, so except for Christmas and Easter, I’m largely ignorant of Christian holidays.
James, no problem. And it’s not irreverent nor irrelevant. However, it does sound like you missed an important piece of information in your research. Maundy does not refer to the passover meal, but to the footwashing at the meal. Since this was a new ordinance of God it is not a reinvention of the Passover meal, but a reflection on the significance of the creator of the world choosing to serve us, which is a profound theological statement about the nature of God. Hope that helps clarify. Blessings!
Then I blame Wikipedia for saying that it was a commemoration of the foot washing *and* the Last Supper (which would effectively be a Seder, or close to it).
I’m a little confused by the phrase “new ordinance of God.” You make it sound as if Jesus established a formalized tradition of washing feet every Thursday before Easter, but what I get out of that transaction, was that he was teaching by metaphor as a one-time event.
Of course, I have a tendency to look at the Bible in an unconventional way.
“Maundy Thursday” or “Holy Thursday” commemorates BOTH the meal and the footwashing. The word “maundy” is the Latin word for footwashing, and so refers strictly to the footwashing itself. Some traditions consider footwashing an ordinance and some consider it symbolic.
Sorry, typing faster than I was thinking. Maundy does not literally mean “footwashing.” It means “commandment.” When Jesus said, “a new commandment I give you, that you love one another,” and then proceded to wash their feet. It is the same Latin word from which we get the English word “mandate.”
Beautiful tribute to this unfortunate situation for both physical prisons as well as societal prisons.
[…] the Christian event. Kind of like re-inventing the wheel, and maybe it misses the point as well. I subsequently learned that there’s a little more to it than that. The interpretation of the scripture behind the […]
I know this is an older post, but I just now read it. I couldn’t help but read it over and over again. I was especially intrigued by the words “towers of twisted truth.”
Too many times we accept these twisted truths and fail to see that ideas are cheap… even if they come from “giants.” Only the word of God is infallible. By accepting these “twisted truths” we are imprisoning ourselves, or rather, allowing thes walls to imprison us. I am the first to admit that I have fallen under that trap too many times. If only I was free from these chains, I could soar so high. And yet, I am the one tightly gripping the chains.
So true, Gavril! Thanks for reading and commenting!