Knowing that he came from God, and was returning to God- the completion of a journey that is still growing within his body the church Jesus rose from the table and washed his disciples feet. Knowing who he was, and whose he was. Jesus didn’t hesitate, stopping before each of his travelling companions, (and let’s be brave and imagine that the women were there too, Susannah, Johanna, Mary, Martha, Mary and others,) he took their feet into his hands, and washed them tenderly, thoughtfully, kindly. Perhaps as he did he took a moment to look them in the eye, to register whether they were really receiving what he was doing, looking for a moment of understanding.
Imagine for a moment, or more that you are there, that Jesus takes your foot into his hands, and looks you in the eyes, what is happening within you? Do you find yourself known by the one who has all of eternity in his eyes, do you see yourself reflected as he sees you?
Maybe like Peter you fumble over your understanding, and tumble over your words, eventually blurting out, then Lord, wash all of me! How do you receive the response, you are already clean, though not all of you, he knew the stain that had crept over Judas, but to Peter, who we know with hindsight will deny him, he spoke those words, you are already clean, it is just your feet that need washing.
Our feet do need washing for we walk through life and collect dirt and grime, words spoken, deeds not done, thoughts that have gotten out of hand, these we need cleansing from, but if we have found ourselves known and held by love we need no more.
I find that challenging, especially on those days when I want to push the reset button and start again, when I want to wipe out what was, though I know that what was has made me who I am, and probably given me greater compassion for others in the process. But being known, fully known can be deeply disturbing! Jesus knew who he was, and whose he was, and today reminds us that he took a bowl and towel, and knelt before his followers and washed their feet.
Today calls me to remember that I do need my feet washed, that fancy socks and painted toe nails do not hide the dirt that I have accumulated. Today I receive the call to love and serve afresh, with all that, that means, and today calls me to know that I am clean, that when I see myself reflected in the eyes of Christ I see only his love for me as he gently removes the accumulated dust and grime that so often accuses me and prevents me from knowing the fullness of the love he is offering.
Today too, we remember how he broke bread, and shared wine, giving us a way of remembering as we are re-membered into his body, known, loved and accepted. Maundy, from mande- meaning to command, it is not about being mournful, or grieving, but remembering the love shown by the one who knows and holds the end from the beginning, it is within that love, that we are held.