I really think my compass this week has been all over the map. So mnany emotions this week, yet trying desperately to focus on the spiritual meaning of these days.
I was explaining to one of our youth that a relationship, any relationship takes effort. That goes without saying, but what I was trying to explain is that trials are the foundation upon which a relationship is built. Relationships come and go, the ones that are special are the ones we fight for; doing whatever is necessary to preserve the union. I recently expressed some thoughts on friendships vs. acquaintances. I think after all my jibberish that was really the heart of what I was trying to say.
Maundy Thursday is the perfect time to reflect on my relationships because of the events that we remember on this solemn evening. I don’t think I need to go into Passover, The last supper or the events that followed (at least not this evening). Instead, I want to comment on what Christ did before their last meal.
John 13: 1-5
13 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.2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 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.
In a number of churches, washing another’s feet has become part of the worship service. I never really clearly understood the importance of this particular act until just a few years ago. In the time of Christ where everyone walked, washing a person’s feet was a job for the lowest of servants. If you continue reading in the John, the disciple Peter objects to his Mentor, his Teacher accepting this role as his servant. In fact, he starts to argue with Jesus, stating “it is I that should be washing your feet, not the other way around. ” But in this moment, Jesus not only defines his purpose but the purpose of everyone that claims to follow him. That is a life devoted to service. A relationship with Jesus can only be attained by following his example. That means putting others first and ourselves last. It seems an odd that the path of righteousness is the complete opposite of our human nature. To do what God demands on a daily basis is hard, extremely hard but then that is why the relationship is so rewarding.