Watering this seed:
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13)
Watching from the outside:
This is Jesus’ last night with His friends. A night He’s so been looking forward to celebrating with them. Eating. Drinking. Laughing. Talking. Making new memories. Remembering old.
And then Jesus, in that Jesus way of His, breaks the molds and rocks their world. He changes up the Old and sets the New in motion. His body broken? His blood shed? A new covenant? … so many cryptic ideas for the disciples to ponder… But just when their minds are on the brink of overload, Jesus (saving the best for last) gets down and dirty, and does something they do understand… He washes their feet!
The Lord, Messiah. Teacher. The Holy One sent from God… stripped down, bent low, and cleaning off the filth of a long day’s travels – their filth.
… Seriously, Jesus, what the heck? Get up off your knees! Put your clothes back on. You are so above this!
Wondering from the inside:
Oh my gosh, I would have so been where Peter was,
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
But then Jesus answers,
“Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Unless I wash you…” Present tense. Here and Now… Like, this is everyday kinda stuff!
Everyday Jesus washes our feet, to show us what to do for others.
And so I have to wonder, what does washing of feet look like today?
My mind immediately goes to everything I hate: washing toilets, cleaning messes, bearing with ungrateful whinies… and so much more. And I feel Self bristling in Love’s grip, bristling like Peter, “Lord, this?!”… Are these things the “washing of feet”?
“Yes,” I hear Him say,
“and so much more…
“This it isn’t about royalty and position and entitlement. This is about life – my life in you. This is about all the behind-the-scenes-where-no-one-notices-but-me things. This is about the here and now and all the unlikely places where I continue to pour out my heart for you.
“Today, I feed you. Feed others. Today I forgive you. Forgive others. Today I am present for you. Be present for others.
“Everyday, I still serve you. I prepare a place for you. I intercede for you. I listen to you and rescue you. I give you wisdom. I give you strength. I comfort you with all comfort… Everyday, I “wash your feet.”
“And this washing of feet is about laying lives down for each other in the muck and mire. It’s about bridging the gap and giving your life away… even in the scum of a toilet bowl. Even this, Jane, if you do it for me.
This is the journey you and I are on: letting me love you first, so you can love others.
… Tag, you’re it.”
Lord, there is nothing too small, too dirty, too menial, that you haven’t done for me… that you’re not asking me to do for others. Give me a servant’s heart. The heart of a servant sold out to loving you… laying down my life like you did for me.