Image found at "Kings English".
John 13:13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
These words have been rattling around in my mind since the Maundy Thursday worship service last night. Especially this part of the reading: 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.
In Jesus time, washing someone's feet was the job of a servant. Because of the dirty and dusty conditions and the open sandals that people wore, people's feet would get very dirty walking around all day. When someone came to your home, it was good manners to offer to have their feet washed.
I've been thinking about ways we welcome and "wash feet" in today's world. I suppose one way we still wash feet is by greeting someone that comes over, hanging up their coat and offering them a drink or food. Hospitality is part of foot washing, but on a deeper level there is something striking about someone of authority taking the place of humility in order to care for and serve someone else.
In the reading above, Jesus could have handled the foot washing by asking someone else to do it. But his choice to move out of his expected role and take the place of a servant speaks volumes.
Jesus ministry was one that called him to heal the sick, forgive sins, AND wash feet. His actions help to define him as a servant-leader.
I suppose all this discussion about Jesus and foot washing can be boiled down to this question/statement:
If Jesus makes the statement (both in action and as a verbal directive) singling out "foot washing" as something his followers should do - how should it be done today?
I'd like to think that this his statement on foot washing is something more than a practice that's focused upon once a year on Maundy Thursday. (Although I think this is a beautiful expression of servant-leadership). How then do we, and I as a Jesus follower go about washing feet?
John 13: 15-17 continues: "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."
I wonder if it's in finding ways to "wash feet", where we find our center, our hope, our passion and our mission in the world around us? Maybe it's in this servant-leadership where we give blessing and are blessed in knowing we made a difference.
Basin, water, towel. Where are you needed in my community?
God help me have the eye's to see those coming to my "door" and may I have my basin ready to serve.