Holy Thursday takes us to the Upper Room where the first thing Jesus did was wash the feet of the disciples, humbly like a servant. Across the world this evening thousands of lay people will have their feet washed by the clergy. If my feet were to be in-public-washees, I’d make sure they were clean, really clean.
At the time of Jesus, however, most folks wore sandals. It gets decidedly dusty walking around the Middle East, which would make the disciples’ feet dirty and smelly. But Jesus takes those smelly feet gently in His hands and washes the grime away.
Jesus, their Teacher. Jesus, the Messiah. Jesus, the Son of God.
Live Others-centered Valuing Everyone.
L – 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 and within us. Living in love is to be alive with the love of Christ in the deepest part of our hearts, letting His love empassion and empower every part of our being.
O – Washing feet puts the focus on what we can do for others. Small things, big things, sometimes smelly things – our actions speak louder than words. Being others-centered means not seeking ‘what’s in it for me’ but what’s in me for others. (“Love always protects, always hopes, always trusts, always perseveres…” I Corinthians 13)
V –To tenderly wash someone’s feet intimates value. Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves, but first we must ‘get’ our beloved status as daughters and sons of the King of Heaven. We are beloved. As we act out of our beloved-ness, we recognize that same status in others and lift them up as fully beloved of God with our words and deeds.
E – Tax collectors (sell-outs to Rome), zealots (freedom fighters/terrorists depending on which side you were on), & Judas (the betrayer): Jesus washed the feet of everyone in that Upper Room. That means our annoying colleagues, neighbors, pushy Republican/ Democrat in-laws, liberal or conservative (sometimes) friends. 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 & people of every color, ethnicity, orientation & ability around this world. EVERYONE.
If we exercised L.O.V.E. muscles more often (vs. ‘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)
It’s time to put on our aprons of faith, roll up our sleeves and start washing. Let’s give our L.O.V.E. muscles a good workout.
Virginia : )