“Do you know what I have done to you?”

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

Before greeting

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.

Why?

Because it is our feet that have been carrying our movements,

Our journeys

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

Faith

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

Laid out

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.

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