The Folded Napkin

It’s Easter.  I would love to celebrate today in church but the infamous “guitar strings” are keeping me at home.  It’s okay.  I will celebrate in my heart.  I would like to share something of today with you and so I share one of my very favorite things about today.  It’s a little piece, but a very significant piece of culture and history.

We know what today is, the celebration of Jesus rising again.  In churches everywhere the story will be read of Mary Magdalene going to the tomb only to find it empty.  We will be reminded of the fact that she went to tell the disciples and that Peter and John ran to see what it was all about.  Those details will be read and commented upon but will the napkin be noticed?  Have you seen it before?  In John 20:6-7

“Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside.  He noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying to the side.”

Now, why was that folded up napkin so important that it needed to be mentioned in Scripture?   Such a small, seemingly insignificant detail, but it’s there.  Why?  Here comes the exciting part.  In Bible times the servant would set the table and stand just behind his master while he ate.  The servant was attentive to his master, watching closely at all times.  When the meal was finished, the servant watched as the master took his napkin to wipe his mouth and hands.  If the master crumpled up his napkin and placed it on the table the servant would come forward to clear the plates away.  If, on the other hand, the master wiped his mouth and hands but folded his napkin, laying it to one side, the servant would not come forward.  Even if the master left the table the servant would not move.  Why?  The folded napkin was a sign to the servant that said… just wait, I’m coming back.

Is there anything more exciting?  🙂  Happy Easter everyone.