The Power of Basin & Towel

unsplash-logoMicheile Henderson

I’ve often wondered how different church history might have been if its universal symbol was a basin and towel rather than a cross.

Today, on the eve of Good Friday, Christians commemorate the Last Supper at which Jesus, having taken a basin and towel, washed his disciples’ feet, saying “By this, all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Symbols are powerful and the first Christians used a variety of them to recognise one another in secret circumstances, often under state oppression. The cross eventually emerged “officially” under the auspices of Emperor Constantine and world history tells of its continuing use, yes, for inspiration, but also for oppression by the powerful.

The events commemorated today suggest followers of Christ will be recognised, not by the cross, but their loving service in the manner of Christ who abandons seemliness to wash the feet of others in service.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.”

Do jewellers make basin and towel pendants?

Published by wonderingpilgrim

Not really retired but reshaped and reshaping. Now a pilgrim at large ready to engage with what each day brings.

4 thoughts on “The Power of Basin & Towel

  1. I also have this reaction, I have always preached and taught that it is bowl and towel that is the true symbol, the lived symbol. Thank Denis.


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