April 1, 2010

Mandate Thursday

"Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me."

"Drink this, all of you, this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me."

"If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."

Maundy Thursday is, quite possibly, the most counter-cultural day in the Church year. Even the most skeptical will bear with us as we eat the bread and drink the cup. They might roll they're eyes as we pray, but its what Christians do. When we talk of the Spirit and how she moves and leads, they'll talk of fate or the universe.

But when we wash each other's feet - that's serious. Feet were gross in Jesus time. Feet are gross now. And yet, once a year, we live into the Mandate of Christ, "If I've done it, you also ought to do it." We set aside all our pride, all our dignity and stoop down to wash the dirty, stinky feet of one who we might only know in passing. It is hugely counter-cultural and the central message of Jesus - we are servants.

When we serve one another, we serve God, and tonight, as we wash each other's feet, we are both Christ doing the washing and Christ being washed. May we take seriously this day Christ's mandate to serve, even to the point of washing one another's feet.

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