Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end......
And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.....
After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, 'Do you know what I have done to you?' You call me Teacher and Lord - and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.
(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
Today is Maundy Thursday, the day we remember that Jesus instituted our Eucharist (often called the Mass, or the Lord's Supper, or the Communion Service), taking bread and wine and instructing us to 'do this is remembrance of me'. But surprisingly John's Gospel does not include this, perhaps because he was writing largely for pagans and it was kept for those already within the new church. We know that the Romans in particular mocked it, spreading the news that Christians were cannibals, eating a body and drinking blood.
The reading above shows us Jesus washing the disciples feet on this day. He commands them, and us, to do the same - to serve others in any way that we can - not just washing their feet! For me this brings up a vivid memory of two bishops on their hands and knees washing 1,000 pilgrim's feet in Hereford Cathedral at the end of a pilgrimage that I ran as the Diocesan Children's Adviser together with my colleague from Hereford Diocese. When all the towels became too wet the bishops used their scarlet cassocks to dry our weary feet. They are both dead now, but both gave their life for others, and have been an inspiration for me for years, through this symbolic act.
may we follow Your example
to serve other people,
taking Your love to them
through our actions
rather than our words.
If you would like to serve someone today, or this week, here is an article that might help. Not all may be appropriate in a lock-down situation: