Maundy Thursday mediation

Bekah Williamson gave us a great meditation when we gathered together for night prayers on Holy Thursday evening.  Well worth looking at if you weren't able to be there.

Dummy Subjects

This Lent I’ve been reflecting a lot on English grammar. This wasn’t my original intent when planning for the season, but God can speak through anything I suppose. In this reflecting I’ve discovered a connection between grammar and my own spirituality.

Work with me.

In English there is something called a Dummy subject. Dummy subjects are stand in words, signifiers whose job is to point back to the main subject.

The party is tonight. It will be fun.

It is the Dummy subject. The important thing about Dummy subjects is that they mean nothing on their own. They are hollow signposts reminding us of what is actually meaningful.

I have many Dummy subjects in my life: grad school, work, small group, and Monday night Founders. I can pick and choose however I like, I can arrange them in order of favorites but all of them are mere signposts. There one and only job is to point me to Christ.

That’s the precursor to my reflections. All these Dummy subjects are ‘supposed’ to point me to Christ but instead they point me to themselves or, more dangerously, to myself.

In theory Lent is meant to be a season to forget ourselves, to forsake particular luxuries and favorite pastimes. It is a time to fast—to pray—to meditate.

Notice I said ‘in theory?’ Because in actuality we have Dummy subjects cropping up all over Lent trying to point us in the wrong directions, away from the cross and onto ourselves.

John 13: 3-13.

I love Peter. He makes all the mistakes and we get to learn from them. He gets caught up with the Dummy subject of being washed. Of being tangibly clean, ‘ then also my head and my hands’, when Christ—the GREATEST SUBJECT OF ALL TIME—kneels before him offering a simple blessing.


Here is my actual reflection.

We have a lot on this earth and in our individual lives to be thankful for. Three months ago we sang “Oh Holy Night” and celebrated the birth of a common-born baby who came to set us free from sin.

But it all leads to this. To this weekend. This series of events prophesied about thousands of years ago.

Today is Holy Thursday. Tomorrow is Good Friday.

All of creation leads into Good Friday. The crucifixion is the main subject of everything. Things that came before it, what came after, and even the events of this world that will occur after our own deaths.

All creation stands as a signpost pointing to Good Friday. To the sacrifice knowingly given, willingly given.

This Lent I’ve spent too much time in front of mirrors attempting to figure myself out. What my purpose is, where I am going in life, why I am in Grand Rapids. All until today actually, thinking about tomorrow. I looked in the mirror and realized I too am a Dummy subject.

I am a signpost.

My only purpose is to point to the cross and the resurrection.