Tonight Jesus will be betrayed and condemned on false charges. Before that scenario of pain and despair, He will spend His last earthly night with His best friends. Knowing what was going to happen, Jesus prepared the disciples, and us, for what’s next.
He washes their feet – a scandal then and even more so now. Who washes someone else’s feet? Oh wait, parents, caregivers, hospital personnel and nursing home workers do. Most of us have forgotten the true service rendered in washing someone’s feet. It is a humbling experience and intimate in its closeness to another person.
Jesus tells them He is giving them an example. Horrified, they’re not sure what to do. Peter speaks for all of us in his insistence that Jesus not wash his feet. Jesus takes that teachable moment and shows Peter, and us, what true discipleship means – service to others.
With covid-19, we may not be washing anyone’s feet, but we can serve one another through prayer, forgiveness, compassion and hope. Someone needs to hear from you. They might need groceries or medication, they might need reassurance, they certainly need a word or gesture of hope because someone cares – you!
Jesus then goes on and offers bread and wine as a remembrance of His Body and His Blood that He will sacrifice within hours. Whether we call our repetition of this action the Lord’s Supper, Eucharist or Holy Communion, it was, and is, the hallowed remembrance of the ultimate sacrifice of our Lord.
When we all get back to church eventually, take communion. It is the Lord’s ongoing gift of Himself to any believing, baptized Christian. Embrace the privilege. Be a responsible disciple and share the gift of Jesus by witnessing to others of His goodness and graciousness in your own life.
Life is hard now, more so than we could ever have imagined. Do not despair. The disciples must have been crazy with fear and worry, perhaps mostly for themselves. Jesus gave His life to free us from fear. Stay safe. Keep trusting in the Lord. He will not abandon us.
God bless you.
Rector, St. Peter’s Anglican Church