Thursday 13 April 2017

Bible Book:

“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 … ‘… I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’” (vv. 5, 34-35)

John 13:1-17, 31b-35 Thursday 13 April 2017

Psalm: Psalm 116


Today is Maundy Thursday, when Christians around the worldremember Jesus' last supper with his disciples. Many churches haveworship that includes the leader washing the feet of thecongregation, or people washing each others' feet and drying them.It is a curiously intimate gesture.

Feet are among the first parts of us to get smelly if we havehad a long day in the heat, and feet are closest to the dirt ofanimals and rubbish on the road. But just like brushing our teethbefore going to the dentist, many give their toes a little scruband put on fresh socks before heading out to church on MaundyThursday, if they know there will be foot washing. Some churchesskip the whole headache by washing hands, or having one person'sfeet washed while everyone else watches, or doing something elseentirely.

All these are worthy responses and no one should feel bad aboutthem. And yet, Jesus broke the social etiquette of his day andasked his disciples to do the same. The vulnerability of showingour feet to one another and being washed was exactly the sign oflove he intended. The willingness to love one another like this,and act like it, was what he thought would mark his followers out.Jesus did not think the world would notice Christians because oftheir beliefs or creeds, nor because they prayed or worshipped acertain way. He thought they would only gain notice because oftheir acts of sacrificial love one for another, and for allpeople.

To paraphrase, 'This is what the world will see about you, andhow the world will know you are my disciple,' he said. Not 'this iswhat the world should see about you', but 'this is what the worldwill see about you'. Do Christians want to be noticed in the publicmarketplace of news and ideas? Maybe the trick is to take Jesus athis word. Truly risky acts of love still make headlines: they arerare enough today as they were then.

To Ponder

  • If you have ever had your feet washed by someone else, inworship or not, what was it like?
  • Why do you think so many important events in Jesus' teachingtake place at meals?
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