Good morning all!
Good morning all!
John 13:1-17 (NRSV) Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4 got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5 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. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
“A new command I give you: Love one another as I have loved you.” – John 13:34
“Today is Maundy Thursday, the day Jesus celebrated Passover with his disciples for the last time and gave them a new commandment: to love one another as he loved them. “Mandatum” is Latin for “commandment” which has been shortened to “Maundy” (not Monday) to the confusion of Christians ever since. ” -Matt Laney
Today begins the roller coaster of emotions during Holy Week. Tonight we celebrate the last time that Jesus gathers with his friends for dinner. Jesus does some pretty surprising things during this dinner. In the Gospel of John, he gets into a position of servanthood and does the unspeakable, he washes feet. He loves so much that he would even go to the ground to wash disgusting feet. In the other Gospels, he has Passover with them and talks about the bread and the wine being his body. Super confusing and shocking.
I usually cringe a little bit when I open this mornings scripture. I love Maundy Thursday because of the commandment of love. I love Maundy Thursday because of the meal and the set up. I love Maundy Thursday because of the meaning and the community. But I am not a foot washing kind of person. I know that I should be. It is full of meaning and serving one another. And I avoid it like the plague. My co pastor is quick to highlight this piece about me. A few years ago, we held an event in the church that included part of a Seder meal and my colleagues were so eager because they got to do footwashing. And they LOVED it. In the rational part of my brain, I realize that because I am the one that runs away from the feet that it would full of meaning to either have my feet washed or wash others. And yet, I will still choose to run. I have done the washing. I have been washed and I appreciate connecting with Jesus and realizing how much it means to deal with feet and still I will be the first to say….uh, no footwashing this year, ok?
I think I might represent a good portion of the population.
However you feel about this action of being a servant, don’t get lost in it today. What is important is to realize that Jesus sets out this new commandment of love above all…feet and all. He demonstrates it by eating with us, breaking bread, reminding us of who he is, and sitting at our feet. The call then is to do the same for others. Today is a day about mindfulness. At the end of the day, Jesus is betrayed and we launch ourselves into a new piece of the story. But today is about love, that love that goes beyond self.
How will you love today?