Thursday, April 09, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Today’s text

John 13:1-5

Before the festival of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father, having loved those who were his in the world, loved them to the end. They were at supper, and the devil had already put it into the mind of Judas Iscariot son of Simon, to betray him. Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, and he got up from table, removed his outer garments and, taking a towel, wrapped it round his waist; he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing.


Jesus knows. The end is near.
The time has come to leave friends he has loved so well.
He knows one he has loved will betray him to those who will destroy him.
He knows he is to die, to suffer, be denounced and destroyed.
He knows he is to glorify God and return to the One whom he calls as Father.

Knowing this, he takes a towel, ties it about his waist, pours water in a basin and
washes the feet of those he loves and loves to the end.
I don’t wonder why. I know.
I see him, kneeling at the feet of human souls he has known and loved.
Much is said of this act of humility. No Jewish slave could be compelled to wash feet even though a slave.
But what moves my heart and the heart of a cynical world is Jesus’ desire.
He knows he will soon leave them.
He knows he soon will no longer be able to touch their flesh, see their smiles or witness their uncomprehending brows.

He knows they will turn from him, every last one, running from him in shame.
Yet knowing this, he wants to touch them, to love them, to wipe the dust from between their toes, to feel his hand on the leathery soles of their worn feet.
He wants to look them in the eye and touch them on more time.

So he kneels before each one after the other, intimately touching, revealing to each the love in which they are held, showing that all he is, all he has done and all he is about to do is for them, for each one, personally.
Watching the water roll from each foot, Jesus dries them with the towel, absorbed,attentive to the task of loving.

Because he wants to.
He loves his own … and me, to the end.

Three things I don’t understand. No four, I say, are too wonderful for me:
The way of a mother with a child;
The way of the waves on the lake;
The dust of stars in the night sky, and
The desire of God to love us to the end,
to the everlastingness of eternity.

Jesus kneels at the disciples feet, and we see all the way from Mill Street to the
depths of eternity. We see into the incomprehensible heart of God.
We see past our fears and despair to the one truth that is more true than all that troubles and disfigures our lives. More true than fear. More true than cancer. More true than loneliness. More true than our highest joy in happiest moments.
We see the length and breadth, the height and depth of the eternal wonder of God who has loved us since the birth of time when all the morning stars sang together for joy at the delight in which God has always held you.

The desire of God is to give the fullness of divine life and love to you, to me.
Such is clear as Jesus washes feet and the holy intention of God’s self-giving is unmistakable for all with faith to see and receive.

Jesus washes feet, and we see the love God cannot and will not hold inside.
A love that is ever for you.

Pr. David L. Miller

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