This Sunday, don’t get distracted by the glitz and glamour, the pastels and white shirts and (bow) ties. Don’t get lost in what everyone is putting on. See if you can look beyond all that, all the way back to Thursday night, this night, when...
This Sunday, don’t get distracted by the glitz and glamour, the pastels and white shirts and (bow) ties. Don’t get lost in what everyone is putting on. See if you can look beyond all that, all the way back to Thursday night, this night, when Jesus takes off his outer garment, and instead of throwing on his best tunic and shining up his new sandals, he puts on a towel.
A towel Jesus uses to dry the disciples’ feet, once he’s washed them.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. A new commandment. Love. Footwashing.” I know you’ve heard it all before. “Let’s just get this over with. Only three more sleeps til Easter.”
It’s hard to fully experience the joy of Easter without the awkwardness and foot odor of Maundy Thursday.
We all like Easter because it’s the way we want to see ourselves: bright, happy, and put together, straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
The mask firmly in place, we step into church, to give the world our best. “Break a leg out there!” The mask gives you control, it lets you rule the situation because you don’t have any problems, any doubts, any fears, any secrets, any pain. Everything is good.
But Jesus doesn’t want anything to do with your mask. Unsolicited, your Creator and Redeemer, who knows you will desert him, bends down and washes your feet.
Sure, it’s your decision, you’re in control.
“You’re not going to wash my feet, are you, Lord? I’d rather keep my feet covered up and hidden. My feet are ugly and dirty from the road, if you touched them you’d be disgusted!”
“Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
The world settles for your mask, for surface level relationships and interaction. You can live a shell of a life out there.
But, when the sugar high fades and you long for more, Jesus welcomes you into a new community. There are some requirements: confession and forgiveness–admitting you don’t have it all together–are the entry way to new life, better life than you could have imagined before.
“Secrets draw their power from shame. I convince myself that I am too messed up, too tainted, or too tarnished for others to accept. Or maybe people will think I am a fraud. As I believe these lies, shame grows into fear, which is almost always, at some level, fear that if others truly know me, they won’t love me. Or at least love me as much or in the same way” (Jonathan Merritt, Jesus is Better Than You Imagined, 93).
Tonight, look around at everyone in church and stop living whatever lie you tell yourself. All these faces, gnarled feet being washed, stumbling toward the table, hands outstretched for the bread that alone can satisfy–have fled and betrayed the one who will never betray them.
No one is worthy. This is the One who truly knows you and loves you still. And these people? They’re trying to figure out what it means to know and love each other well.
So take off your mask, let down your pride, untie your shoes and let the cleansing waters wash over your toes and your soul. Yeah, it’s a little awkward and it might even tickle a bit. But this imperfect interaction is the stuff of life in this community that follows a crucified Lord.Share on Facebook Tweet This Pin This
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