Friends

After two years of lockdown and working from home where I tend to potter around in bare feet, I find that I am not enjoying wearing my high heels as much as I used to. My feet have lost the habit of it, and the fashion for white trainers with brightly coloured suits is one that I shall reluctantly embrace this summer. I see on the streets of London that others too have arrived at the same conclusion, but it reminds me of the importance of comfortable feet and here towards the end of the Easter season, that when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, it was more than an act of humility and service.

Jesus was doing something that was usually done by a servant, but it was usual to have it done, because tramping the dusty roads in open sandals left the feet dusty and irritated. Indeed, when Jesus’ feet are anointed by Mary at Bethany and people start to rebuke her, Jesus points out that the host has overlooked this simple foot-washing courtesy. In our time, what service can we perform that is normal and necessary but that might in fact be overlooked?

Jesus is reminding them that it is easier to tell someone else to do something than to do it ourselves, but that if we do not seek to serve, we can never hope to lead. Leadership within the Church is always servant leadership, and yet it is so difficult to get the help that we need in these days. Are you able to serve your fellow congregants by taking on some of the work of the day? Am I able to organise things to take on more, or support more?

Above all, Jesus calls us to think of the needs of those who are with us in the work before our own needs. We are not told whether he was weary or frightened as he set out to wash those long-ago disciples’ feet, but we know that by later in the evening he will ask God to remove the cup from his lips if it is possible to do so. He will have inevitably been wrestling with many thoughts and yet he is able to trust that these people who have been drawn to him and whom he has called will follow through – in spite of Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial. They will as a group announce the coming of the Son of God and of the Kingdom of God and their faith, empowered by the Holy Spirit, will be enough to change the world.

Whatever we are called to do for the church and for the community in the coming months, let us too be worthy of such trust.

God bless, Vicci

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