That day, we're also going to set up to wash feet. We are compelled to offer feet washing again because we have been recently reminded of the significance of simply offering to wash another person's feet.
I have a friend on the streets who had amputations this last winter due to frostbite. When he and I caught up last week, he reminded me of something I had forgotten. He said, "The first time I met you, you offered to wash my feet ... I thought that was so weird."
He continued, "It was so like Jesus. I'll never forget. You offered to wash my feet."
The thing is, I didn't actually wash his feet. He didn't let me. But he remembers the simple offer. In church yesterday, we sang this song:
You are the God of the broken,
the friend of the weak.
You wash the feet of the weary,
embrace the ones in need.
As I sang, I was asking Jesus to wash my feet. I am weary. Life with a new baby and work is more than I am used to. But instead of depending on Jesus, letting him wash my feet, I have wanted to be self-sufficient and independent.
I had forgotten that Jesus is so unlike other gods ... when I am incapable or feel too tired, he doesn't abandon me because I don't measure up. He is my friend when I'm broken and weak; he embraces me when I have deep needs.
I need my feet washed by Jesus.
The song continues:
I want to be like you Jesus,
to have this heart in me.
You are the God of the humble;
You are the humble King.
As Jesus washes my feet, he enables me to turn around and -- literally -- wash the feet of others, in particular those of my son, whose feet I wash often. I also feel like Jesus is inviting us to offer to feet washing on November 7.
We don't wash feet because we are better than those whose feet we're washing. We wash feet because we know how desperately we need ours washed, too.
Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:14-17