Thursday, March 24, 2016

Maundy Thursday

In the church, today is Maundy Thursday. A celebration of the last supper of Jesus, and a day in which people will ritually wash each other's feet.
The thing about foot washing, is that it isn't about clean feet. Or general servanthood.
Any homeless person will tell you how essential foot care is, especially when you do miles of walking a day. Foot washing is basic hygiene, like brushing your teeth, in a walking culture. Having someone care for your feet is an essential luxury.
In the ancient world, foot washing was the first step in a whole process that the ancient world called "welcoming" or "receiving" and we might call "hospitality." It is taking a person who walked all day, has no indoor place to sleep, no full meal and inviting them into your home. You would take this vulnerable stranger, wash their feed, feed them well, listen to their stories and let them sleep a night in your home. So when Jesus said, "Do to each other as I have done to you" he's not talking about washing feet. He's talking about the full process of welcoming. He washed their feet, he fed them, he granted them sleep and he taught them truth.
Jesus specifically tied this hospitality to our faithfulness to Him. "Whoever receives one whom I sent receives me," and "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me... I tell you, whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these vulnerable ones as a disciple, they will not lose their reward."
Instead of embarrassingly washing each other's feet in church on Maundy Thursday, we should obey the intent of what Jesus intended. Find a vulnerable person, invite them into your home. Allow them to shower, to have a good meal, to sleep, and then offer them peace as they go on their way.

No comments:

Post a Comment