Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”
I remember the morning I called my father to tell him I had decided to quit advertising to become a minister.
It was on Maundy Thursday in 2010.
I remember it well because when I asked him to hand the phone to mom so I could tell her, he informed me that she was in the upper room.
By that he meant The Upper Room. Yes, the very room where Jesus shared his final meal with his disciples.
Having been a tourist in many ancient cities, I suspect it wasn’t the exact room. But still my parents were there, in Jerusalem, at the table, on this very holy night when our Lord and King removed his royal cloak and became a lowly servant.
There in a stranger’s humble home Jesus bent down to wash the dirty feet of twelve men who quit their jobs to live out the rest of their days in self-emptying love for the world.
With nothing more than basin of water and a simple towel, Christ held their tired, aching feet, and began to wash each one of them clean.
It is in this intimate, yet humbling gesture we learn what it means to serve and to love our neighbor.
We discover it requires a willingness to be vulnerable, to move beyond our comfort zone, and to give fully and fearlessly of our self. At this table, Jesus guides us towards a new way of living life abundantly in God’s love.
To be a friend of Christ, to bear the name Christian, means we are called to walk in love in the midst of a broken and wounded world. Through us, God continues to send his Son into our communities to share his Divine love with our neighbors. With God at our side, we can move beyond our comfort zones and make ourselves vulnerable.
In the solemnness of this evening back in 2010, I sat in a pew and saw Maundy Thursday from a new perspective. Not as a spectator, but as one who accepted the call to follow Christ. I had no idea where the journey would take me. Likewise, our Lenten journey began six weeks ago, and since then we have grown closer to God and deeper in our faith. While we had no idea what God would reveal to us along this trip, I hope that you found something to help prepare your soul for Sunday, and your faith for Monday.
Let us all dare to be with He who knew no sin. The Holy One who rose from the table, walked out into the world, and stretched out his sacred arms; joining heaven to earth, and true love to all human kind. For it is through the love of God in Christ Jesus that we gather together as one world, one people, in one community of divine love.
PRAYER: Dear God Our hearts are a battleground between faithfulness and betrayal. I am weak, but you are steadfast. Trusting in the unwavering love of Jesus Christ, I confess that I have denied you, and betrayed you and our calling to serve and love one another. I confess that I do not always remember you, with celebrations of the supper that represents your giving of your life for us. Forgive me of my selfish ways and turn my heart and mind away from unkind and destructive behaviors, to be more like Jesus. Amen.