Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Holy Thursday Washing of Feet
Jesus knew well the illustrative power of an act as humbling as foot washing. When Jesus girded himself with a towel and washed the feet of his disciples, his action shockingly disrupted every normal expectation about the rabbi/master - disciple/servant relationship. The master washing the servant's feet completely inverts the established and expected paradigm of hierarchy and status.

Remember that Peter was so disturbed by Jesus' socially inappropriate offer to wash his feet that he strenuously resisted submitting. But Jesus insisted that he must accept this new way of thinking. Before Peter's eyes, Jesus deconstructed the old standards based on domination and modeled the new way of ordering life. Jesus physically enacted the truth that there is no longer a hierarchy of any kind to invert. Jesus is not a master "lowering" himself - the disciples are not servants being "elevated" by Jesus' action. Jesus rejected entirely those very notions of status.

When life and self are no longer defined by who is dominant, who is on "top," Christians become free to extend themselves and their gifts to others without fear.

"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Paul declares. Have you ever really looked at feet? Feet are strange, flappy, ungainly looking appendages. It takes a lot of literary imagination to describe such bulbous buniony creations as "beautiful."

When feet are involved in the mission of bringing the Good News to all people, Jew and Greek, rich and poor, male and female, then they become beautiful feet.