Maundy Thursday 

A small group of us gathered to remember the last meal Jesus spent with his disciples before his crucifixion. We washed one another’s feet, we ate the bread that represents His body, we drank the wine. My 15 year old daughter washed my feet. When I was a child I was reluctant to participate in the annual footwashing service at my church. I was in some ways shy, especially around adults, and I think that is why. My own children have always participated in the Maundy Thursday footwashing service. This time, my younger daughter and my son had to choose between footwashing service and attending their AWANA program at another church. My eight year old son said to me, “that’s too hard to decide.” In the end they went to AWANA, missing out on footwashing for the first time in their lives. 

Jesus washed the disciples feet for a number of reasons. It was tradition to wash the feet of guests when they arrived at your home after they had walked on the dusty roads. It was a job relegated to the lowliest servant in the household. On the night of the last supper, nobody offered to wash anybody’s feet – a symptom of the self-centredness of the twelve. It wasn’t until after the Passover meal that Jesus began washing the disciples’ feet, much to their shame and consternation. Jesus, however, had no intention of shaming them. He was demonstrating his love, his humility, and his servanthood. This humble act foreshadowed the greatest act of humility that was to follow the next day, when Jesus chose to give his life, becoming the Ultimate Scapegoat. 

Brother, let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant, too.

We are pilgrims on a journey,
We are brothers on the road.
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night time of your fear.
I will hold my hand out to you,
Speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping.
When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow
’Til we’ve seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven,
We shall find such harmony
Born of all we’ve known together
Of Christ’s love and agony.
 

We sang these words together. We washed one another’s feet. We recognized our love for one another.

Apart from my daughter, every person in that circle knew about my homosexuality. I wondered how she would have responded, if she knew. Would she have chosen to wash my feet? How will she respond when I come out to her? I need to trust that she will respond with the grace and peace expressed in this song. We have taught her well, I believe. The fear is that she might respond with the fear and judgment with which my wife and I have spoken of “sexual sinners” in the past (my wife in her ignorance and denial of my behaviours; myself in the denial of my sexuality and in the strength of my hypocrisy).

I pray that the peace of God will surround each one of you as you remember His great mercy, His great love for you, and seek to serve Him as you serve those around you.

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