Grace and peace to you as we, people of faith pause in this moment, In this holiest of weeks Closer and closer to the one whom the Creator God loved and sent, Jesus Christ, Our Savior and Lord.
Is it possible for people of faith today,
To empty of ourselves the things that hold us back
from fulfilling Christ’s commandment?
There are many people whose knowledge and wisdom should bring us humbly to their feet in respect.
Within the African Yorbua people and culture, young children are taught
The proper way to greet their elders
Without speaking, a young man would lay himself before the elder’s feet
A young woman would kneel and bow her head
The elder would then, motion for them to rise with a blessing on their heads or embracing them with an unconditional love.
How counter-cultural and odd does that meet our eyes?
Many, many cultures and peoples of the world have this same similar, humbling way of honoring those who have come before.
So curious it is that it is done at their feet.
Because it is our feet that have been carrying our movements,
Forever, it seems
Our feet carried us through unknown places as we explored lands throughout Creation
Sustained the burden of a people fleeing from exile
Bore the weight of a people running towards freedom
Carried the cries of a people marching for justice
When there was no other way, our feet resonated the rhythm
Giving us the strength to move and conveying hope Encouragement
And even as our feet become ragged with weariness
Tattered and scratched with the roughness of the road
We must continue to carry what the Good News of Jesus Christ is for all of Creation
And that Good News is that Christ cared for us so much…
That He humbled Himself
Taking our feet into His Hands
Baptizing and renewing us, so that we could carry what the Gospel means to everyone
“Lord, not my feet but also my hands and head!”
We hear our own joy in Simon Peter’s exultation
Of wanting to be submerged in anointing by this Teacher,
By the Son of God
Who had witnessed the healing power and unconditional love
Jesus Christ had for those whose He encountered and whose humbled lives were discarded by the rest of the world
… as if they were useless as cloudy basin water.
“You will never wash my feet.”
Peter struggles to see that the Son of God deliberately empties of Himself
To experience the sufferings of these ancient people, their pains, their grief and their affliction
To comfort those places where their souls ached
Pouring soothing water, refreshing their very being
For Peter the impropriety of Jesus
A man of importance and notoriety in this ancient society
To deliberately ridicule his status
Reduced it to unworthiness,
Affecting those who followed him
Aligning themselves with someone seen as tainted
Peter’s actions leaves us questioning
The audacity of placing limitations
On who Jesus is and what Jesus gave to them
Yet, as people of faith we sometimes in our searching and our questing
Place our own limits on what the Creator God is able to do.
Especially when we are faced with a Jesus that challenges us and exposes our uncomfortableness with what Jesus Christ has commanded us to do.
“Do you know what I have done to you?”
There is no answer that can be conveyed through mere words
But through Jesus Christ, the Son of God
Who reaches across the cosmos to where we are
Every time we shelter those from life draining pain
Those who have been forgotten in and outside our community
Every time we honor those who have embraced Creation with their feet,
Elders who carry within their souls, the wisdom and the love of God
Every time we gently scoop up life giving water
Saying a prayer over those that we are familiar
And those who are strangers
Allowing waters to pour gently over
We live out what the Good News of Jesus Christ is for us today
Just as it was for the disciples
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”
The Good News of Jesus Chris is CLEAR.
Regardless of who we are or whom we are not familiar
Whether we are in agreement or not
We as sisters and brothers in Christ
Throughout all of our wanderings and our journeys
Meet at the crossroads
BENEATH THE CROSS
HERE is where we all humbly bow our heads
Laying out our burdens
HERE beneath the Cross
WE ARE ALL EQUAL
And HERE is where Jesus Christ, Risen, Resurrected, Defeating both death and the grave
Reaches out to embrace us with LOVE THAT SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING
HERE is where we should meet one another
To be reminded of who we are
And what the Creator God Almighty
Has called us to be
BONDED IN LOVE to the Triune God
And to one another forever!
(Telling the story of an end of the semester worship service at LSTC where the Seniors walked through the font, and the middlers with towels knelt down to wipe their feet in silent prayer and how moving a reminder this way that we too, have been called as disciples of Jesus Christ to baptize one another in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit, blessing one another to continue proclaiming what the Good News of Jesus Christ and the power of the Gospel means to everyone. It does not matter what you have been called to do: to ministry, to teaching, to healing, to being with a neighbor and the stranger.)
Come, let us live out the commandment of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.