It’s Maundy Thursday – a day of remembrance for those of us who are Christians.
Good Friday is but a day away. And then we wait for the day spectacular. The day of rejoicing. Resurrection Day! Easter Sunday – the day Jesus proved He is the way to victory over death.
But as we wait, we commemorate. Tonight at church, we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper. As believers in Christ, we will gather together in our country church. We will read Scripture and ponder those last days Jesus lived on earth in human form.
We will follow in His footsteps. We will eat a meal together – we call it a Love Feast – just as He did with His disciples before He was arrested, tried, convicted, beaten, and crucified on a cross.
John 13:1: “It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love.”
Today we will partake in Communion. We will break specially prepared bread, handmade by our church deacons using a long-used recipe. We will give thanks for it before we eat, just as our Savior did before he spoke these words recorded in Luke 22:19: “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Then we will take the cup, again giving thanks in remembrance of what our Lord did for us on the cross when His blood poured forth to save our souls. In the same way, after the supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” ~ Luke 22:20
But there is something else we will do. It may seem unusual to some, but it is an integral part of our faith as we remember the significance of this Holy Week, the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for human kind, and the love that overflowed from Him.
We will fill basins with water, gather towels, and kneel in front of other fellow believers in Christ and wash their feet.
“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.” ~ John 13:3-5
In Jesus’ day, prior to a communal meal, it was common to have your dirty, dusty feet washed before reclining at a low table to eat. This job was relegated to a lowly servant. Jesus demonstrated the ultimate in love, humility, and servanthood by performing this act for His disciples.
And then He told them and us, “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. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, not 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 13:14-17
So why do we do wash the feet of another? Not only do we do so to follow Jesus’ example, but also because even though as believers we have been washed clean of our sins when we come to Christ, we need cleansing from living in a sin-stained world.
Sanctification (cleansing) is performed by the power of the Holy Spirit through the “washing with water by the Word” (Ephesians 5:26). As followers of Jesus, we desire to emulate Him, serve others with humility in our hearts and minds, and build one another up in love.
It is then that we will be equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
On this best day of the year, I can’t think of a better way to spend it than serving my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ by following the footsteps of Jesus.