So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. -John 13:4-5 (NIV)
On yesterday, John 1:7 was read at the church service I attended. This is the scripture where Jesus was washed his disciples’ feet. Reading passage connected to a conversation I had last week with someone about washing feet. Today, the passage lingers, and I ask the question, how do we wash each other’s feet?
It has been seven months since some of us have seen each other face-to-face. While some churches have chosen to meet in person, everyone I know is sitting at a computer or with a smart device listening and looking for a chance to connect with God and with each other.
This passage comes into our lives at an interesting point in history. Having attended several foot-washing ceremonies, I know the importance and power of this Christian ritual. It can be transformative. Right now, we need some transformation. Some of us are barely holding on to our hope while still being called by God to bring hope to others. However, we know God is able.
When Jesus washed his disciple’s feet, it was also an interesting point in history. He was about to transform the entire world through his sacrifice and his victory over death. I believe Jesus’s act of humility was an example of how we can provide hope in hopeless times.
But how can we do what Jesus did from behind screens and masks?
The answer is simpler than you think. Instead of a water, basins and towels, we can use our words, our presence, and our kindness. While we can’t touch each other, sit at meals together or sit in pews together, we can wash each other’s feet.
Is there a phone call you need to make to someone you haven’t seen since the pandemic began? Is there a home-bound person who would appreciate some delivered-meals? Is there a homeless person you see who needs one of your masks? Is there a child whose parent doesn’t get a particular subject in which you excel? Is there a postal worker or delivery person who might appreciate a grocery store gift card? Is a birthday or just thinking of you card that you can send? Is there any sick among you who needs prayer? Is there someone who just needs another person to sit with them in silence on the phone or over a video call?
My point is that washing each other’s feet is not only about the ritual itself but about the intention behind it. When we do it, we care for each other and we show each other that no matter how dirty life gets, we can love each other.
I am leaving you with a challenge. Find a way to wash someone’s feet this week and let me know how it goes. You can email me, comment on my Facebook page or on the Instagram post with the feet-washing photo. Looking forward to connecting with you in Cyberspace.