By: Chad Hyatt; Photo by: Katie Archibald-Woodward
John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Reflection—v. 15, you should do as I have done to you
I had never seen a crowd leave Mercy so fast as when we first made a call to participate in a foot-washing. There are many reasons we are uncomfortable with this command of Jesus, especially for us in our community where so few of us have the ability to give our feet the care that they need. I think we all have something in common with Peter, who stopped Jesus, later on yielding, as Jesus knelt before him to wash his feet. Not only that, but we—us and Peter—have something in common with Judas who was uncomfortable at another foot-washing earlier in John’s Gospel narrative, as Mary washed the feet of Jesus. He objected to the extravagance of the grace Mary was lavishing upon Jesus. In these two stories of foot-washing, situated so close to one another in John’s narrative, we see a model of the self-giving mutual love that is at the heart of the kind of community that Jesus is calling us to become. And we see vividly, whether we identify with Peter or harbor the closed heart of Judas, how we resist such mutual and vulnerable love. Even if we initially resist this vision of our common humanity, where we are called to serve, love, and care for ‘one another,’ may we, like Peter, reconsider.
Prayer God, help us welcome the extravagant, mutual love that is your gift to us.
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