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Scripture: John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Let’s focus on just one piece of this scripture:
“No!” Peter said. “You will never wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t have a place with me.”
Simon Peter said, “Lord, not only my feet but also my hands and my head!”
Jesus responded, “Those who have bathed need only to have their feet washed, because they are completely clean. You disciples are clean, but not every one of you.”
Peter has an interesting reaction to Jesus, in this scripture, doesn’t he? He first refutes Jesus, right? Jesus goes to wash Peter’s feet and Peter says, “No way!” Then Jesus tells that he must wash Peter’s feet and Peter wants more than Jesus offers.
It seems to me that a follower is pretty full of himself if he orders his leader around like Peter seems to do. I wonder how we respond when we see Christ at work in this world. Do we act like Peter or do we participate with Christ in the work He plans to do??? I mean, when we see the chaos of a soup kitchen do we accept that Christ is doing that work? When we watch children at play do we really believe that Christ is shaping those lives?
First Peter denied Christ his chosen activity and then asked for more than Christ was offering. Do we do this today? Do we ignore Christ when it suits us (yes, the homeless man invisibly sleeping in a drainage ditch across town) and yet ask why God isn’t doing more to fix our world?
If we learn nothing else from Jesus’ teachings, we should at least know that Christ placed a high value on humanity. Jesus came to life, did ministry, and died on the cross not because of how little God valued humanity, but because of how very much God valued our earthly life. Here in this scripture, Christ is kneeling down to care for His friends and followers. Today, still, Christ kneels down to wash our feet and his tears fall upon our flesh because fail to take part in His Holy mission.
As we journey with Christ towards the cross and Easter Sunday I ask that we keep our eyes open. I beg that we, as people of faith, would keep our eyes open to the injustice that plagues this world and to take part in the work Christ is trying to do. As a person of faith I beg you: be the hands and feet of Christ so that we can take part in washing the feet of this world. That we would participate in giving the world the gift of Christ.
Peter didn’t need to be washed. Peter needed to have an experience of Christ. There are so many people of this world who need to feel Christ at their feet, will it be you or I who will help them feel Christ in their lives this Holy Week?