Today's Lectionary Text
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.
“Blessed Assurance” verse 1, no chorus -- 21 seconds; “Mary Had a Little Lamb” verses 1 and 2 -- 22 seconds; “Froggie Went a Courtin’” 2 verses -- 33 seconds. In the midst of our current situation we are told to wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands. We should be lathering for 20 seconds. I find it helpful to sing a little ditty in order to keep track of the 20 seconds. These are some of the ones I use.
In John’s Gospel Jesus washes the Disciples’ feet. He probably did not time 20 seconds for each one. Per foot it maybe took longer, or maybe less time. And the time required was surely not the same for each one.
In the culture of his day such foot washing was an act of hospitality, of showing caring. Usually done by a servant, Jesus the Master was acting here as a servant. It does not matter how long it took for each one. Caring is what was important.
Then Jesus tells the group to do the same, to wash one another’s feet. He commands them to show care about and for each other. Washing one another’s feet would be a way of demonstrating love for each other and of spreading the Good News in the world.
We don’t wash the feet of our guests in this century. However, in our current situation washing our own hands is an act of caring. We protect ourselves through such washing from what we might have picked up on our hands. Also, we protect others by not sharing any germs we may have on those hands. I have witnessed (from afar) an incredible number of acts of caring and concern in this last month. As the people of God we are called to be leaders and guides in sharing such caring and concern, and thus in loving the world. On this Holy Thursday, let’s be sure we answer that call. Figure out what you can do to care for the world and to give the love of Christ to it. Then, go do it!
By the way, a verse and a chorus of “Jesu, Jesu” takes 23 seconds. Our prayer today is from that song.
Prayer for Reflection
“Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love, show us how to serve the neighbors we have from you.” Amen (UMH #432)
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