Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maundy Thursday

Most of us will have a ritual foot washing ceremony as part of our Maundy Thursday observance tonight. I want to recommend that you read a Washington Post article from a couple of years ago entitled "Gaining a Dose Of Humility, One Washed Foot at a Time". Here's part of what it says:
As they prepared for the holy ritual, the churchgoers had all the essential items: latex gloves, nail clippers, chlorine and antibacterial soap. The only things missing were the feet, and soon enough they poured into the church by the dozen.

Many were callused and cracked from cold nights spent on the streets. Some were sore and infected. What they needed was some old-school -- we're talking centuries here -- Christian doctrine in action. So volunteers at Centenary United Methodist Church in Richmond got down on their knees and scrubbed.

The practice of foot-washing, rooted in the biblical account of what Jesus did for his disciples, has ebbed and flowed throughout church history, abandoned at various times for reasons of dogma or embarrassment. But in recent years it has grown in popularity as an act of submission, both at Easter season services and in many other settings.
Pregnant and homeless since November, Wright has drifted with her 7-year-old daughter from shelter to shelter. One constant in her life has been the Friday talks over foot-washing with the volunteers.
"When they put my feet into that hot water -- whew!" she sighed. "It sure feels like heaven."
May tonight's ritual be deeply meaningful to each of you.

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