Tonight, we celebrate Holy Thursday--the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of his followers.
I was invited to have my feet washed at the service in our parish, and then to wash the feet of three others. So, there I was, front and center on the raised platform right in front of the altar, with two men, one on each side. I felt a teensy bit inconspicuous. And a bit more, I felt nervous. But it was really lovely. The three I was asked to wash were a child in second grade, and a husband and wife (probably around age 30). My church spreads out the washing, so that we are all over, in all the aisles. It's a nice way to bring the ritual close to everyone.
I was struck by the memories brought out by the experience. A year ago today, I was washing the feet of homeless men and women at an ecumenical event in my neighborhood in Southern California--a world away it seems. You know, the feet I saw that day were worn, calloused, truly dirty feet. Such a contrast to my own and those I washed today. That's a memory I will carry with me for years to come, dredging it to mind every Holy Thursday, I'm sure.
When Jesus told his disciples that he would wash their feet, he was asking to do a dirty job. No wonder Peter protested! Yet Jesus came to serve, and to show us how to serve, regardless of Peter's hesitations.
How am I asked to take on the humble job this day?