Today we remember that God washes our feet.
The fingers that crafted the universe scrub scum from between toes.
The hands that painted the cosmos wash feet painted with dirt and sweat.
The One before whom all angels bow gets on his knees to labor as a slave.
We become clean, he becomes filthy.
In doing this, Jesus our God gives us a humble epiphany, a revelation of who he is. He is the God who makes his glory visible in lowliness and servitude.
He is the God who gives
-his cheek to the betraying lips of Judas
-his face to the slapping hand of the high priest
-his countenance to the spit of the Sanhedrin.
He is the God who gives
-his head to the thorns
-his feet to the spikes
-his side to the spear.
He is the God who embraces rejection, shame, torture, and death, to give himself to you.
And here is why: because that’s who God is. He is the God who is love. Therefore he loves you by giving to you. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. What he gives you is nothing less than himself.
God gives, you receive. This is everything.
He not only washes your feet; he washes you clean, body and soul, through the holy bath in his name. He fills the baptismal font with water from his spear-pierced side and kneels there to wash off the dirt and sweat and grime of your evil.
He feeds you himself, his body, his blood. Every natural food we take into our bodies is transformed into our bodies. We don't become corn on the cob or hamburgers. But the supper of our Lord is different. This food transforms you into that which it is. You, the church, are the body of Christ. You are what you eat.
So, come and eat. Come and drink. Come to the lowly God who has joined you in your lowliness that he might exalt you in himself.
On Maundy Thursday, let us recall, with thanksgiving, how fitting it all is:
How fitting that humanity, which plunged into death by eating forbidden fruit, should receive life and immortality by a meal provided by our Savior, the Last Adam.
How fitting that sinners, their unity rent asunder by hatred and violence, should be gathered into one communion by partaking of the one loaf, baked from many scattered grains.
How fitting that we, who are hard pressed and beaten down by evil, should be comforted and uplifted by drinking from the Lord’s cup, filled with the blood of grapes that have been trampled and pressed underfoot.
How divinely and beautifully fitting, on this holy Thursday, that we have our feet lovingly washed by the very God from whom we once ran in terror and shame.
Here is our God, Jesus Christ, who comes not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.