|As this school week ends, Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of Easter and some worship services will include a “foot washing” re-enactment as part of the Last Supper ceremony. How uncomfortable, even though most of these feet will be spotlessly clean before they start!
Jesus said “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. [John 13:14-15]
We certainly don’t go around washing people’s feet in our times and culture, so how are we to read this example Jesus gives, to do as he does?
There are many ways to wash feet. You can do it with a peg on your nose or a frown on your face. You can do it with sterile gloves to avoid contamination. You can do it quickly and carelessly, more concerned with ticking the box than actually serving a need. You might delegate it to someone else. You might do it as something that has to be done, but you’d rather not be seen doing it. Or perhaps you’re convinced that a particular need is over-rated and a waste of your time.
How does Jesus wash feet? Willingly, purposefully, indiscriminately, persistently and bravely.
Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. [John 13:1]
Love ‘as I have loved you’ is a clue to the example Jesus asks of us. How does Jesus love? By giving up his life – not just for his friends, but his enemies. Us (before he claimed us). Even Judas, the traitor, left the meal with clean feet.
We’ve been left with big shoes to fill. But with clean feet, and the Spirit of Jesus, anything and everything is possible.