Scripture: Philippians 3.10-11
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Scripture: John 13:14-15 (CEB)
So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example: Just as I have done, you also must do.
Reflection: Dirty Feet
By Jada Swanson
If you knew that you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do? What would you say?
Imagine walking into a tiny upper room, crowding around a table, passing plates of food to eat, but knowing tomorrow was the day. This is the situation Jesus faced on the Thursday before he was crucified.
On this day, Jesus celebrated his final Passover with His disciples. However, on this occasion, he did something quite different. At the very beginning of the traditional meal, Jesus washed each of the disciples’ feet. Something he had never done before.
In the Old Testament foot washing occurs frequently (Genesis 18:4; 19:2; 24:32; 43:24; Judges 19:21; 1 Samuel 25:41; 2 Samuel 11:8; Song of Solomon 5:3; Psalms 58:10). In ancient times, foot washing was considered a tremendous act of hospitality, and was done before entering someone’s home or tent. One’s status (rich or poor) determined whether the guest washed their own feet with water provided by the host, or if a slave performed this act, which was considered the lowliest of services.
However, as often is the case with Jesus, he turned everything upside down. Surely, shouldn’t the servants be washing their master’s feet? According to customs of this time, this should have been the case. But, instead, Jesus washed each of the disciples’ feet, even Judas’ (John 13:2).
Jesus gathered the disciples around him, took a towel, poured water into a basin, and washed their feet. He served them with love and humility. As his followers, we are called to do the same.
Although we do not know the hour or the day of our final moments on earth, we do have an example of how to live our life. Jesus is our example, and his life demonstrates love and service to others. On the final evening with his disciples, he included an act of service. As his modern-day disciples, may we all continue to carry on his example by serving others each and every day of our lives.
Prayer: The Request for Presence
Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; knit my heart to you that I may fear your name. — Psalm 86.11
– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.
Full prayer available online and in print.
Proverbs 16 (Listen – 3:15)
Philippians 3 (Listen – 3:21)