Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sometimes literal is good

Foot WashingThere is far more going on in John 13:1-15 than a literal obedience to wash one another's feet would capture. Still it was enligtening to actually participate in the literal washing of feet. The sense of contact with another. It wasn't just ritual as we'd just finished painting with our feet so they needed real scrubing. We shared our common hesitancy to show our feet to one another. We took the chance to pray for each person as their feet were washed. I was truly moved.

Sarah and I spent Saturday afternoon with some folk from Xalt working on art for their Sunday evening gathering.

- Peace

1 comment:

Richard said...

I like the earthy wholesome picture. I much prefer it to the rash of "sanitized" liturgical novelties I've seen over years at Church services.

I couldn't help but shake my head when the local committee issued guidelines instructing people to wash their feet thoroughly before the ceremony so the feet wouldn't stink.

Then there was the "feet are too icky" movement which replaced it with a "handwashing" ceremony that bears an eerie resemblance to Pilate's infamous "I wash my hands of this affair".

I still shudder over the debate whether the priest should wash the feet of women and men or just men only. One priest thought that the emphasis was on Jesus teaching men to have the humility to wash feet (women already knew how to do those humiliating tasks).

It seemed a rather rigid interpretation until the other priest piped up that he would enjoy washing a woman's foot more than washing a man's foot...

Sometimes I wonder if one day I'll snap and start going to Latin Mass. Though I do keep telling myself that liturgical debates are not as nearly important as we make them out to be and often bring the perversions of legalism to new lows unreached even by the Pharisees.

Enough of my pessimism. Great post, Dave. A refreshing and uplifting perspective.