Thursday, April 1, 2010

Learning to accept the care and service of others

Maundy Thursday is so very rich. I realize that I could focus on a number of important events for this blog post today including the institution of the Eucharist, the agony in the garden and the betrayal of Judas. But I've decided to go with foot washing.

A webpage partially entitled "Finding new meaning in ancient symbols" includes the following by a woman named Elinor:
I never connected this with my own life until this year, when I was forced to be absolutely dependent on others to take care of me after I had surgery. It was a helpless feeling, and I was so thankful for the wonderful nurses and aides who tended to my needs, including washing my feet. Their gift of service was so enormous in comparison with anything I could do for others at that time.

Being a 75-year-old grandma who was used to doing everything myself, and sometimes helping others, made it difficult to accept. But my helpers reflected the love God has for us in every situation — wow, what a lesson!
It's easy to interpret this ritual as meaning we need to wash others' feet (both literally and metaphorically) - and this is true. It also means, I would assert, that we need to be receptive enough to let our own feet be washed. Peter had to learn this. So did Elinor. And so does each one of us.


  1. Thank you, Ellie. Better words than I could think of for today.

  2. Thanks, Jan. I'm glad that was meaningful for you.


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