Foot Washing? (John 13:1-20)

He is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Blessed Easter & Resurrection Sunday y’all!  (And yes yes, happy April fool’s too!).  But no joke — today, even with cool air outside and a hint of snow trying to fall — we gathered round the table, opened in prayer and began to check-in.  The homework had been to find our deep (& LOUD) Hosanna & offer it to God.  It wasn’t necessarily easy, though we pondered if sometimes our deep Hosanna comes from doing what we feel designed to do — being open to/led by/a willing vessel of God — and the answer seemed to be YES!  Also — there was the insight of the Hosanna that seeks to adore God for who God is (on God’s terms) as well as the Hosanna that is asking God to save us!  There also was an image offered of someone on the inside trying to praise loudly (while maybe personality, tradition, or other) wants that praise to behave & to be quiet.  Regardless of where our deep hosanna rests, be it in dancing in the street — singing at the top of our lungs — playing an instrument — sitting in stillness — offering deep and repetitive “thanks” out of the overflowing gratitude we have for all who God is and for all that God has done — I do believe God invites us to live in that deep hosanna and to find a certain freedom that exists in living there, in unapologetically praising the God who gives us everything — who gives us life!

And then we turned to scripture.  We focused on John 13:1-20.  The story of the foot washing.  The story of Jesus modeling something.  The story of inviting us to accept those who are sent (by God).  Our first focus was recognizing, we do not understand what Christ is doing.  Our second observation was mentioning Christ as a model of what we are to do.  And the conversation began about the “foot washing.”  What is it?  Why is it there?  And are we called to it today?  OR — is this just a symbol?  The varied insights included naming the idea of the individualism of the foot washing — the engaging with the dirt each (disciple/us) walked through to get to Jesus — and the need for Jesus to wash that off — and the reality check that washing dust off of feet was a job for the lowest of the servants, and recognition that Christ has no ego, no reason why we should be afraid of him — his humility speaks loudly.  There was also the offer of an observation as to the discomfort of the foot washing — today, or perhaps especially today — even for the disciples and that the discomfort might be less about Jesus (& a status thing) and more about us — the idea being that in the nakedness of Christ we must see our own, in Christ washing us we must recognize our need of him — our inability to achieve salvation on our own….which is not easy…

And so we came to the homework time while the conversation still begged to continue.  And yet the conversation will continue through the homework as well as into next week.  Spend time with this text (John 13:1-20).  Listen, what is God saying?  What is Jesus teaching?  And think about what it is to wash feet?  Is there a modern-day equivalent and if so what exactly is that?

Blessings as God reveals during this week & remember…

Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!  AMEN!

~ Rev. Sabrina Slater 

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