The Easter Triduum begins tonight with celebration of the Lord’s Supper & culminates with the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Here are a few thoughts, again, about the L.O.V.E. of Jesus.
Holy Thursday takes us to the Upper Room where the first thing Jesus did was wash the disciples’ feet, humbly like a servant. Across the world this evening thousands of lay people will have their feet washed by Clergy (bishops, priests, pastors, the Pope!) I don’t know about you, but if asked to be one of the in-public-washees, I would make sure my feetsies were properly pedicured before anyone (especially a priest) washes them.
In the time of Jesus most folks wore sandals. Walking around the Middle East is a dusty business, which would make the disciples’ feet smelly, dirty & definitely not pre-pedicured. But Jesus takes those smelly feet gently in His hands and washes the grime away. Jesus, their leader. Jesus, the Messiah. Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus, their Teacher. On His knees. With a towel and basin. Washing. Their feet. Teaching them (and us) a lesson in LOVE.
It’s time to put on our aprons of faith, roll up our sleeves and start washing. Since those water buckets get heavy, it’s a good idea to strengthen our L.O.V.E. muscles. How?
Live Others-centered Value Everyone
Live We must choose to live love, because love is a choice. Choosing to live with a towel of love wrapped around our attitudes vs. being dead to the needs of those around us or within us. Living in Love is to be alive with the love of Christ in the deepest part of our hearts & letting that love infiltrate our minds & other parts of our being.
Others-centered Washing feet puts the focus on what we can do for others. Small things, big things, sometimes smelly things: our actions speak louder than our words. Being others-centered means not seeking ‘what’s in it for me’ but what’s in me for others. (“love always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres…” I Cor 13:7)
Value To tenderly wash someone’s feet intimates their value. Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves, but first we must ‘get’ our Beloved status as daughters & sons of The King of Heaven. We are beloved. Of value. As we act out of our Belovedness, we recognize that same status in others and lift them up (not down), showing them they are beloved by God and us. Valued. Valuable. Precious in God’s sight, and ours.
Everyone A tax collector (sell-out to Rome), Zealot (freedom fighter/terrorist depending on which side you’re on) & Judas (the betrayer): Jesus washed the feet of everyone in that Upper Room. That means your annoying colleague, neighbor, pushy Republican/ Democrat in-law, liberal or conservative, a (sometimes) friend. Ever thought about washing the feet of those with whom you have very little in common? or maybe even dislike? Love is not so much about ‘like’ as it is about choice & commitment. Everyone also includes HIV/AIDS victims, the rich, poor, politicians (!!) & people of every color, ethnicity & ability around this world. EVERYONE.
If we exercised our L.O.V.E. muscles more often (vs. our ‘judge-others’ muscles) maybe (just maybe) we might fulfill what Jesus Christ asked us to do:
“Do you know what I have done to you? ..if I, your Lord & Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet… As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you; abide in My love… This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:12, 14; John 15: 9, 12)
grace, peace & L.O.V.E. muscles
Virginia : )
p.s. Years ago when I started the care-giving gig for my parents, my sister gave me this beautiful ceramic of Jesus with His basin and towel. Setting it next to my bed, it was a great reminder of the love of Jesus during many nights & days of washing my Mama & Papa’s feet (& many other places, like the kitchen floor!) 🙂