Sheer Thursday – Holy Week Minute 4

Foot washing – I once heard a story about a little boy that put soot in his granny’s sock on foot washing day. Hilarious, but on sure he paid for it later.

On this day, we recognize the preparation and taking of the last supper, foot washing, the upper room discourse, Judas departs, singing, and heading out to the garden.

We call it Maundy Thursday, Holy Thursday, and even Sheer Thursday, Sheer?

Sheer Thursday …. Sheer (meaning ‘blameless, clear’) is an allusion to the purification of the soul by confession on that day, in preparation for Good Friday and perhaps also to the traditional washing of the altars. (Oxford Enc)

Now here’s a fun part. One tradition has the clerics shearing their beards for this day. Already I’m thinking of my long bearded youth pastor, chasing him with clippers, and shearing him. We’ve got some shepherds in our church, this is doable.

It’s also a tradition to remove all the colorful and bright articles from the worship center, to make it clean it sheer – preparing for the darkest of days, when Lord hung on the cross and took the sins of the world on to Himself.

The point is preparing yourself – shear or remove anything in your life that would keep you from worship – get everything clear, or sheer, around you that would distract yourself – to get yourself ready to truly worship and recognize the great acts of grace that took place for you and for me in the scourging, the crucifying, the shaming of God incarnate. We take it for granted way too often. We get caught up in bunnies and baskets, in new clothes and old customs, that we forget the depth of love that was shown.

All to make us clear, blameless, free.

Today, whether reading this during the Easter season or later, take a moment to truly appreciate what took place on that weekend 2000 years ago. He paid the price and took the punishment that we deserve.

All to make us clear, blameless, free.

So prepare, remove anything that would take away from the deepest of worship, the truest of praise, the most intimate of moments … and worship the One who set us free.

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