Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dirty Feet

“If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash each other’s feet.  I did this as an example so that you should do as I have done for you” John 13:14-15.

Can you just imagine the scene?  Jesus, one-third of the Trinity who formed the universe with his hands, now kneeled before sinners washing their dusty feet.  He scoots on His knees from disciple to disciple and rinses the dust away.  He gently wipes the dirt from the feet of the one He dearly loves.  He approaches the one whom He knows His church will be built upon one day and quietly serves.  He moves to the next chair ready to cleanse, but this chair occupies the one who in a few hours will be responsible for His suffering, yet He washes…He rinses…He tenderly dries.  By the time the eyes of Jesus and Judas met, both motives were clear, one to harm but the other to love…one to gain while the other would lose.

It is easy to kneel before those we love and wash their feet.  It doesn’t take a champion Christian to rinse those dusty sandals of strangers through our acts of kindness.  But what about when we find ourselves asked to kneel and wash the feet of those who have wounded and betrayed?  How will we respond when our eyes lock with their eyes requiring our grace and mercy?

Scripture makes it clear and offers no caveats…we are to kneel, wash, rinse and dry just like Jesus.  There is no hurt or betrayal greater than that kiss in the garden where the sinless met the sacrifice.  Our acts of compassion and kindness are not determined upon who is sitting before us.  When we truly align our hearts with God, we understand that in all situations it is Christ who sits in that chair before us.  We are told in the Bible that what we do for others we do for Christ, the same being true of what we withhold from others.

When Christ finished washing those 24 dusty feet they were all clean to the same measure, not just 22.  This is the example by which we are called to live.  I love the remedy that Max Lucado offers, ‘Try shifting your glance away from the one who hurt you, and setting your eyes on the One who saved you…Jesus offers unconditional grace to you; we are to offer unconditional grace; The mercy of Christ preceded our mistakes; our mercy must proceed the mistakes of others.’ Experiencing the Words of Jesus, p. 143.

How will you wash?  Will you withhold or will you extend?

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