Unless I wash you, you won't have a place with me. - Jesus (John 13:8, CEB)
These are Jesus' words to his right hand man Peter when Jesus insisted that he wash Peter's feet.
The late Bishop Rhymes Moncure brought a hush to our Annual Conference a dozen years ago when he faced the class of women and men he was about to ordain as pastors and said, "Before I ordain you, I must wash your feet." It was a holy ground moment for all of us in attendance and incredibly awkward and humbling for the candidates as they took off their shoes and allowed their bishop to kneel, touch, wash and dry their feet over a basin of water. A poignant picture of the same hangs in our Conference's chapel named for this bishop who came as a servant.
To wash other's feet is what we "must" do if we are to be followers of the One who came as servant. In small numbers we will rehearse this literally on Maundy Thursday with a foot-washing, followed by communion, just as Jesus did according to the Gospel of John.
In much larger numbers we will rehearse this servanthood the Sunday after Easter, washing the feet of our community by visiting shut-ins, painting homes, making small home repairs, and trimming yards for those who cannot. There will be awkwardness and embarrassment by some that we would do this kind of "foot-washing" for them. But like Bishop Moncure and like our Christ, we must. Christ came in human form to be the least for us, even to death on a cross so that we might live. What choice do we really have?
See you as the washing place,