Thursday, April 21, 2011
"Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."
John 13:4-5 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Today is Holy Thursday, which means many denominations will be performing an ancient ritual. One given to us by Jesus Christ himself. Jesus was about to go to the cross and he knew that. He was having a beautiful dinner with his disciples. He got up to wash the feet of his disciples. Peter objected, why would the King be washing the feet of his servants? Why would Jesus, who was over all, kneel down and do something so base, so common. Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."
Can you imagine this moment? Sitting there with your feet dirty from your travels. Having Jesus Christ himself bown down before you and begin to gently, lovingly wash your feet clean? It's a symbol of something so much greater. You see Jesus as a servant to God, humbled Himself to die on the cross in our place. He washes us of our sins! He spoke volumes when he said, that if He doesn't wash us, we have no part with Him. We need to be washed by the blood of the Lamb, and we need to follow His example.
We need to get down on our knees, humble like a servant, and wash one anothers feet. I don't just mean physically, though I find the ceremony extremley beautiful. A moment in which a man can be a servant to another, and do something common and base, something unpleasant by most standards but by doing so He is emulating the example set by God. There is something glorious about being involved in this, I can only imagine how powerful the act must seem as the person doing the washing. Reaching out with love to touch the foot of someone else, and to gently and lovingly wash them, for a moment just being their servant and not worrying about life, only about them and their need.
We also must serve one another. Jesus said, "What I have done you must copy." How do we do that in our daily life? We find the common need of our brothers and sisters, our neighbors, and we meet it. We reach out to those who need food and we provide. We find those who need help, and we help. We find that neighbor who lost her job, and we help her find a new one. Or we cook them a meal during hard times, and invite them over. We find that lost friend and we become a light to them, never beating them with our words, but offering kindness and love. We notice those who are normally at church and have stopped coming, and we call them or visit and ask if they are ok. We let people know we miss them. We tenderly and lovingly reach out and wash their spiritual feet, never thinking of ourselves, but thinking of them. Jesus told us, that "whoever loves God, must love his brother." Every action should speak of love. That's a very difficult life, but through prayer and communion with God and the aid of His Holy Spirit, it is very possible.
So I encourage you today, if you've never been to a foot washing ceremony, find one in your area and watch knowing what it represents. Close your eyes and see Christ washing the feet of the disciples. Sit in prayer and thought, and if you participate close your eyes and be in Communion with God to the point where you know that it isn't just a man kneeling before you, but that Christ lives in his heart. That Christ is washing your feet in spirit.