It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. . . so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. –John 13:1, 4,5 (NIV)
Jesus got up, took a basin of water and washed the disciples’ feet. The Son of God expressed the full extent of his love by caring for their bodies. He loved them entirely heart, soul, and body.
What might Jesus feel as he washed his beloved friends’ feet?
Perhaps a shudder of fear as he touched the place where his own feet would be pierced. Perhaps a wave of gratefulness that, for now anyway, their feet would be spared. Perhaps an ache of loss, knowing they’ve reached their destination. Perhaps a rising of hope as he imagines walking with them again.
What do I feel as Jesus washes my feet?
Embarrassed that he would care more for my feet than I do. A little overwhelmed at the intimacy of his touch. I struggle to stay present and be loved in this wordless way. I want it to be done and for him to never stop all at the same time. I fear I will be forgotten when he goes on to the others, yet I see them and want them to enjoy his extravagant love too.
What does my body feel?
Jesus’ holds my foot with one hand and pours warm water over it with the other. Then lowers my foot into the basin and washes between my toes. My skin feels the gentle touch of his hands, the warmth of the water, the coolness of the air as each foot is lifted and dried. I feel the tingle of clean, the invitation to rest, and the desire to keep following my Saviour.
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Reflection questions for Maundy Thursday:
- Imagine Jesus washing your feet. What goes on for you?
- What feelings arise?
- What conversation is sparked?
Thank you for your Maundy Thursday offering to us. Washing one another’s feet is the most deeply moving ritual for me of the whole Holy Week and Easter.
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Thanks, Jan, I keep hearing that it is a favourite service of many. Me too.