Image by jimforest via Flickr
On Maundy Thursday, Lutherans love to get to the Last Supper, where Jesus began the practice of giving us His Body and Blood for the forgiveness of our sins through bread and wine. But because we’re so anxious to get to the table and receive God’s gifts, we tend to forget to wipe our feet.
The evening began with Jesus putting on a towel like an apron, grabbing a dishpan, and washing the road dirt and toe cheese off his disciples’ feet. It was a dirty, stinky job, usually reserved for servants, but Jesus came to serve, so He got His hands dirty for them and for us.
But because He served us all the way to the cross, it’s time for us to serve others. Besides all the opportunities to serve people in our daily lives, we can pick up the towel in church as well. The act of service means that, even while attending the service to receive God’s gifts of forgiveness, comfort, strength, and more, we have the opportunity to serve others.
Think about your most recent “Customer Service” experience. Was it positive or negative? Why? Who needs to do the work in that situation, the representative or the customer? When the disciples arrived for the Passover dinner, feet needed to be washed, but nobody wanted to grab a towel, so Jesus did and told us to do likewise. How can we “wash the feet” of guests when they come into our church? Each of us represents the church to them, so each of us is responsible…
- to do the work
- to grab a towel
- to make them feel welcome
- to let them have the good seats (in the back if they like)
- to let them know they will make friends here
- to point them to what they need, like bathrooms, Sunday School classes, and more information about the church
- to let them see the love and acceptance of the One who ate with sinners in your words and body language
God continues to give us tremendous opportunities to serve our neighbor and bring His love to them. May you always find joy as you scrub foot goo.