who do you say that i am?
am i samuel?
drone of a fly
am i peter?
screech of the cock
or am i paul?
flash of blindness
maybe i am just me.
learning to be still.
(c) 2010, T. Stewart
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Master, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later." Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me." Simon Peter said to him, "Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well." Jesus said to him, "Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all." For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, "Not all of you are clean."
So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do."
Breath prayer: Inhale: Creative, Exhale: Love.
I don’t really understand church sometimes. And church traditions. Here, we have a clear story from Jesus followed by ‘I have given you a model, you should do this!” And yet, many of our churches disregard the foot washing. Shouldn’t it be a sacrament? In the UMC, there are two sacraments, baptism and communion. If we do the things that Jesus says to do as a model, then there should be three sacraments.
I wonder what our churches would be like if we practiced regular foot washing? What would it mean to be the servant and the served? A lot of liturgical churches do foot washing on Maundy Thursday. But what if we did it once a month? Once a week?
I think some sacraments are formational. Communion is, to me. When we practice communion and we are serving or being served the mystery of the Christ story, it reconnects us to Holy Mystery. John Wesley says that we should practice Constant Communion. I wonder what constant communion would feel like? Constantly reconnecting with the divine? Living life in the fullness of holiness. Or maybe if we just woke up to the fullness of holiness in the everyday. I think the inherent tension may just be that to be active, to be fully awake, we must be still.