Our youngest daughter was born the Thursday before Easter two years ago. Even though our family has never been especially serious about observing all the significant days of the Lenten season, I was mindful that the day she was born is known as Maundy Thursday. Among other things the Church considers on this day, it’s historically recognized as the day Jesus washed his disciples’ feet.
We get the word “Maundy” from the word Mandatum, found in the Latin translation of John 13:34-35:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (ESV)
Something about going into labor on that particular day was especially sobering. And as I walked into the hospital knowing I was about to be induced, the thought of my holy, perfect Savior on the ground, washing the dirty feet of sinners moved my heart beyond words. The excitement of welcoming our baby girl was muted by a deepened awareness that I was entering into something similar to what Jesus did as he lovingly knelt before the men he had led for a few years.