Home > Uncategorized > If I…have washed your feet…you too must wash each other’s feet…just as I have done, you also must do. John 13:14-15 (CEB)

If I…have washed your feet…you too must wash each other’s feet…just as I have done, you also must do. John 13:14-15 (CEB)

Maundy Thursday…why would we, as Disciples of Jesus, the crucified and risen Christ…be asked to wash each other’s feet?

In the Episcopal Church…foot washing is an innovation of the Book of Common Prayer 1979 as a consequence of the Liturgical Movement among the Ecumenical Christian Denominations…committed to reclaiming the fundamentals of Holy Week…those primary symbols that reminds us of the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ…bread, wine, oil, basin and towel, fire and water…the Three Days…Maundy Thursday…Good Friday…Easter Day!

When is the last time you had your feet washed?  When is the last time you washed someone’s feet?  I’ve come to an insight about the value and gift of caring for your feet.  I wear sandals a good bit of the year…and a consequence of the hot and dry summer is that my feet take a beating…dried out…calloused…cracked skin…this also happens during the real dry time in winter…washing and putting lotion or salve or ointment on my feet…is so soothing and healing.  Can you imagine, in the Middle East, wearing sandals year round…walking every day through the streets and alley ways with all manner of waste…animal and human…collecting on your sandals and feet?  In Bible times, when you were invited to someone’s house for a meal…you were greeted in the entryway with basins and water to wash your own feet or a house slave or servant would attend to washing the filth from your feet as you prepared to dine.  Yet, Jesus, Lord and Servant…washes his disciples feet!

There has been a suggestion that Foot Washing is an empty symbol…not valued among us as it may have been in earlier.  I have been reluctant to set this practice aside because I believe it is a rich symbol…a reminder of the call to humble service laid on us by Jesus in John 13…”If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet.  I have given you an example: just as I have done, you also must do.” (CEB)

On Maundy Thursday, those preparing to be confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church, after having their feet washed…will wash our feet…as a sign and reminder of the Servanthood we are called to in Christ.  I encourage you to consider coming forward when invited to have your feet washed.  As you look upon the one washing your feet, remember Christ’s call to service… just as I have done, you also must do!

Additionally, as many of you know, there is a growing industry for manicures and pedicures…some of you may have experienced the gift of someone washing and caring for your hands and feet.  The next time you have a pedicure done…as you look upon the one who cares for your feet…remember Christ’s call to service…just as I have done, you also must do!

Every blessing,

Doug

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Robin Caldwell
    April 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you for continuing to hold this ritual with importance.

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