Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Read: Psalm 37:23-40, 1 Samuel 12:1-25, and John 13:1-17
“You will never wash my feet!” St. Peter exclaimed. Jesus, down on his knees in front of Peter, replied, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with me.”
Sometimes it is difficult to accept gifts. We’ve all been taught that giving is better than receiving. Also, the giver has a power that the receiver doesn’t. So we give, sometimes to the point of causing harm, but we refuse to receive. God wants us to be graceful receivers as well as graceful givers.
Jesus also wants us to wash each others’ feet. Washing feet was the job of the lowest slave. Rabbis did not ever wash anyone’s feet, much less their disciples’ feet. That was part of Peter’s astonishment. He couldn’t believe that the master would be doing a servant’s job, when it was the job of the disciples to wash the master’s feet if no servants were around.
Washing feet is a quite humbling. It’s even more humbling to allow someone else to wash your feet. It’s part of being a graceful receiver. It is hard to let others wash your feet, because you instinctively think that you should be the one doing the washing.
Go and wash someone’s feet today. It may be figurative, or literal.
And when someone wants to wash yours, gracefully allow them to do so: They are being obedient to God, and they need to wash your feet almost as much as you need to let them.
Let your service be your prayer.