After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord--and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, `Where I am going, you cannot come.' I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:12-17,31-35
Today is Maundy Thursday and we will gather tonight to remember, to wash the feet of one another and to share one last communion before Easter morning. These final days of Holy Week, both dramatic and overwhelming, give us space to enter into an ancient act and in some small way participate in God's redeeming act. I will never fully understand it, but these liturgical reenactments help me to enter into a sacred space where God's love dwells.
Jesus has washed his disciples' feet and asked them to lead by service. He then instructs them about his imminent leaving and gives them the commandment to "love one another." Since that moment in time, all who follow have struggled to love the members of their community. Somehow, the newest commandment from God can be the hardest one for us to keep. Anger and jealousy rise up when we are in close proximity and we find ourselves at odds with the very ones we are commanded to love. But God promises to be in the midst of us, healing and forgiving. As we are willing to serve and wash one another's feet, we will find love, giving by God, overflowing like living streams washing us over with God's love.
Today I ask God to help me move through this day with the heart of a servant. May there be no resentment in the tasks we have to do. May we greet each challenge and task with the expectation of meeting God. May we serve with the love God has given us so that all may know we are disciples.