Thinking Out Loud

June 15, 2012

Servanthood Symbol: Footwashing

John 13

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

    It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The evening meal was in progress… Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

I’ve heard of churches where footwashing occupies a very high place in church life, almost ranking up there with communion, but until yesterday I had never washed anyone’s feet before.  Sure, I rubbed and messaged my wife’s feet in a swimming pool last year, but that was more sensual than spiritual.

My mother needed some help following an injury, and while I was aware of the perfunctory nature of her request and was basically following instructions, I couldn’t help but have a sense of the fact that for some Christians, this act is practiced as a reminder of what it means to be a servant, what it means to be humble, what it means to love.  It was all rather surreal.

So what about you?  Have you ever experienced having your feet washed or washing someone else’s feet in a ritual, faith family setting or church service? Do you think this is something we should periodically practice following Jesus’ example?

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