It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 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. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:1-7 (NIV2011)
Today is Maundy Thursday, the time to break my fast from blogging. While I checked in on some blogs and occasionally commented on posts, I spent much less time on the computer than in the past. One of the things I wanted to do during this season, in addition to some holy pursuits, was spend more time with my husband. He has a stressful job and works ten to eleven hour days. When he comes home from work, he stretches out on the bed and watches television with his eyes closed. He always feels slighted when I sit out in the living room with my computer leaving him alone. So for a time each night I watched a little television with him. Fortunately, he let me have the remote and tune into something better than bang, bang, shoot em ups. I got addicted to American Idol so much so that in the last few weeks, I realized that I need to go to A.I.A. and cut myself off cold turkey. When you start thinking of the participants as your best friends, it is time to turn off the TV. In addition to the temptations of television, life threatened to steal time intended for contemplation. Pressures at work, family situations, church activities, and housework distracted me when I let them. But, as much as possible, I tried to spend time studying and reflecting on God and how He wants me to live my life. Music, sermons, speakers, interviews, Sunday School lessons and conversations with friends reinforced several clear themes that I will share with you over the coming days. One of those themes was servant hood. And that ties in with the meaning of today. The word Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum, and means “commandment.” Tonight, the evening before Jesus was crucified marks the final day He spent with His disciples. In the last hours before His death, He focused on the bottom line of His mission here on this earth. As He commanded them to remember His coming sacrifice, He reminded them to love with humility and serve one another. Over and over again throughout this season, I have been reminded that I am to serve, and not with a condescending, know it all, self righteous attitude, but quietly, without calling attention to myself. I heard someone speaking about the donkey upon which Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. They noted that while the crowds sang Hosanna and waved Palm Branches before Jesus proclaiming Him to be the Messiah, the donkey simply did his job by carrying in Jesus. He didn’t get a big head thinking the hoopla was for him! That is what we, as Christians, are called to do. Carry in Jesus to the world around us, but He should be the center of attention not us. I’m just the donkey. Despite pressures and distractions of this world, but I am called to wash feet, not stand in the spotlight like an American Idol.