The good news for the day April 13, 2017

Holy Thursday (39)

Before Passover, Jesus realized that his time had come to pass out of this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world; he loved them to the end. The Challenger had already swayed Judas, Simonson, Iscariot, to get him into the hands of authorities. During supper, then, fully aware that the Father had handed over everything into his power, that he had come from God, and that he was returning to God, he got up from the supper table and took off his awkward outer clothes. He took a towel, tied it around his waist, and then after pouring water into a basin, he began to wash the feet of his followers and to dry them with the towel around his waist. When he came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “You are our leader –are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing now, you do not understand, but you will understand later.” Peter objected, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you will have no real sharing with me.” Simon Peter said, “Although you are my leader –not just my feet, but my hands and head as well.” Jesus said, “Someone who has taken a bath just needs to have his feet washed; that person is clean all over. You are clean, but not entirely.” (He knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”) When he had washed their feet and put his outer clothes back on, he returned to his place at the table. Then he said, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You give me respect with titles like ‘teacher’ and ‘the one in charge,’ – rightly so – that is what I am. If I, however, the one in charge and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you an example to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” (John 13)

This washing of the feet has long been part of Christian ritual on Holy Thursday. People’s feet then were thick with dirt, cracks, and sores needing constant care. Today most people wear shoes and socks, take a shower, and visit a podiatrist. Yet the word is clear:  Serve what someone needs. The good news is that you follow Jesus—not in a ritual way—but in caring for someone’s need. Perhaps the point is to create your own way to serve and to heal another’s sores. You may try dancing in the aisle, visiting someone, being silly–or just listening to a heart sore with grief.


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