Maundy Thursday is one of my favorite holy days, so full of meaning and power. Good lessons for stewardship of life.
Knowing his time was running out, Jesus spent time with the ones he loved the most. He shared a meal with them and modeled servanthood by doing the most lowly job on the “to do” list of a household servant: Washing someone else’s feet.
The foot washing remains a powerful act because of the one who took the water and scrubbed the dirt from between the toes of his disciples. It was none other than the Word made Flesh, God Incarnate. Jesus the Messiah.
It is God — creator of the universe, author of time, omnipotent and omniscient. — who takes care of the feet of the disciples. And who attends to all of us.
In washing the disciples’ feet, God reveals the nature of the divine in the last place anyone would look — in washing feet. Or rather, the second-to-last place. The very last place you would look for revelation of the divine nature is the cross itself. But that comes later.
On Maundy Thursday Jesus washes the feet of the disciples to express the divine attitude towards us, but also to model how the disciples should act towards others.
His hands still wet from the foot-washing, Jesus then turns to his disciples. “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” (John 13:34-35).
Love. Christians could do more about this. By love, Jesus isn’t talking about a warm, fuzzy glow of the heart. Or even simply some rational decision to “get along” with others, even if we don’t agree with them.
No, Jesus modeled the love he meant. It’s love expressed in service. Expressed humbly. Expressed with joy. Jesus doesn’t suggest it. He commands it. Have you served somebody today?