Foot Washing

I have a friend who is one of the curates at St Paul's Cathedral in London. Curate is like a junior pastor. My friend was sharing with me about their plans for Easter. To set the stage, St Paul's is the church in England. The church. Diana and Charles were married there. It is the national church with history. Livingston is buried there as is Nelson. Lots of tradition. Lots of King and Queen stuff. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and it's dome is second only in size to St Peter's. It defines the words imposing, rich, weighty, ornate.

Anyway, my friend was telling me about their plans for Holy Week. As in the ancient church they will baptise new converts on the eve of Easter and confirm those who have grown up in the church. Wonderfully, they have seen conversions and growth in recent years.

On Maundy Thursday they will have a service which culminates with a celebration of the Lord's Table. The service continues until midnight. Silence for a bit. A reading. Silence. A reading. Then at midnight what was left over from the communion service (bread and wine) will be eaten and drunk and the altar stripped bare. The candles will be extinguished. Darkness will set in. Gives me chills to write about it.

Earlier in the evening, they will wash feet. Our friends in India do that too. But at St Paul's? Yes, they will wash feet. My friend told me it is one of the most emotional scenes ever witnessed. People from the street, people who have had "complicated lives" coming in and the rector washing their feet. It just made me tear up as I thought of the beggar coming into the sanctuary and the priest washing his feet.

Jesus did so to the disciples that night. He does so to us too. He came not to be served but to serve. To wash us.

So I am thinking today we are called to do likewise. To serve. To humble ourselves. To be learners. To wash feet. We too have complicated lives and we too have been made clean. Clean to be those who bless others. Even in our culture which can be imposing and weighty and rich and intimidating to others, as we bow, kneel, stoop to serve others, we can worship Him well. Blessings.