Maundy Thursday: The Last Supper. The foot-washing.
The wounds of the heart are an underground cemetery of seemingly lifeless things. There lies our secret shames, internal struggles, deepest pains, open wounds, wells of pride and legions of anxieties.
On this Maundy Thursday, I think of my wounds.
On this Maundy Thursday, I think of my pride.
And then, On this Maundy Thursday, I think of my internal struggles and hidden agonies.
I think of all these things often as I get older, and I soothe them with the balm of Jesus.
On this Maundy Thursday, I see Jesus taking care of some things. After all, it was his last day to be alive in human flesh. For Jesus, that meant breaking bread, feeding those around him and than doing the unimaginable: washing the feet of his friends…
Yes, He washed their dirty feet….This cleansing was a job meant for a servant, not a friend, and certainly not a king. Yet, Jesus ministered to his disciples in His final hours. His hands touched their feet and cleaned them in a tender servant-sacrifice preview.
It was an outrageous, beautiful, humiliatingly glorious act.
Peter could not handle this. But, I say that we are Peter, too. We cannot handle His healing touch on our lowly feet. For though His touch washes the dirt and grime from our bodies, it also brings the fire of conviction into our souls.
It says to forgive, even when when the offender is unrepentant. It says to let go of offense, even when we’ve been wronged. It says to surrender our hearts to humility, even when we are due the reward recognition. It says to WASH THE FEET OF OUR BRETHERN (literally) yet we run away from the foot washing basin, run away from the call of Jesus and STILL call ourselves obedient and here……
Here, we are Peter too, unable to handle the touch of the Servant-King on our feet while wildfire Spirit flame flushes conviction throughout our veins.
For, if we could “handle” it, than we would not need Him. We would not need His healing touch, His perfect sacrifice, the resurrection leap, that bridged the chasm of sin and death.
If we could “handle it”, then we would not need Jesus, who was humble to the point of washing the feet of His betrayer on the night He was to be betrayed.
If we could “handle” it, then we wouldn’t be deceived by anxieties, fears, and we would walk perfectly in meekness, mercy and tenderness like Jesus did …..
We would be on equal footing with the One who walked straight to the foot washing basin to the cross; who chose to lay down His life for his friends AND His enemies.
We can’t handle it!
However, it is okay indeed, because Jesus knows us AND our secret burial grounds. With Jesus before us, we can bare our ignorance and our bare feet because despite being fully known, we are fully loved and that’s LIFE.
So, on this Maundy Thursday, let us remember our former wounds, for it is there God has encountered us with healing balm in his hands. He ministers there, healing, re-creating, molding and cultivating beautiful souls, readying them for their debuts, and equipping them for the battles ahead.
So, let us sit to rest with Jesus, but not hide our feet from Him. He has come to wash them…and we would do well to receive.
And finally, let us look forward to the coming Resurrection Sunday. For in Jesus Christ, we have a soul saving, Lazarus raising, tomb raiding, death breaking, life resurrecting, forever crushing the oppression of shame, awakening us to the revelation of love, servant-King, kind of Friend.
And you know…
I can’t handle it, that all consuming, all-welcoming outrageous love that is Jesus, but Maundy Thursday reminds me that Jesus can handle me, from my hidden depths to the agonies of reality, all the way down to my aching, life trodden feet.
Thank you, Jesus, for loving me so well. Amen.