A few years ago we ran a night project and café in Telford called Sanktuary. One night a lady left a local nightclub and took off her shoes to walk up the road. Unfortunately see didn’t see a pile of broken glass in the road and she stood right in it! She was able to make her way into Sanktuary and as the first aider I was tasked to clean up her foot and check whether stitches were needed. As I knelt, and examined her very dirty foot I had a sense of Jesus looking down at me laughing, and in my head I heard him say, “Know you get it, when I said “wash feet”, I meant wash feet!” That moment inspired a liturgy recently included in the book published by Proost ‘Opening the Doors’. https://proost.co.uk/books/opening-the-doors-paperback
Where we walk, we walk in the crap left by others, by ourselves, the mess of human lives, the comings and goings of a wasteful, corrupt and selfish world, we wallow in the dirt and the hurt, oblivious to the stink and the stains that we carry with us. God stripped off his finery, stepped in our shit, knelt in it, touched it, held our ugliest bits in his very hands and washed them clean.
Hands which formed matter; Pulse which set the rhythm of the planets; Breath which stirred life into being; Mind which dreamt the diversity of the species; Eyes which bore deep into the heart of humanity; Heart which yearns for us to choose peace; Feet that walk each step with us; Mouth which chides and comforts; Arms which embrace the hurting; Strength which sustains the weak; Life which was given up for love; Creator who scrapes the shit off my feet; God who serves. Wash me clean
Where I judge others, Where I dismiss others, Where I abuse others, Where I ignore others Where I ridicule others, Where I use others Wash me clean Where I elevate myself, Where I think only of myself, Where I want only for myself, Where I gather to myself, Where I hold to myself, Where I value only myself, Wash me clean
Where I seek for power, Where I seek for control, Where I seek for praise, Where I seek for status, Where I seek for fame, Where I seek for wealth, Wash me clean
This is a story of service and servant-hood, of community, by washing the feet of each other; we are shaped as a community of service, we serve each other, we serve the people we meet on the road, we serve the place in which we live, we serve the servant God, who as the God who became flesh and blood and lived amongst us chose to get right down and dirty in the shit and stink of human life to wash the feet of those he lived with. So we wash each other’s feet.
We will not point to the rubbish others have accumulated from a place of “holier than thou” judgment, calling them to lift themselves out of the mire, we like Jesus must bend and kneel amongst the dirt and the hurt, get right amongst it, see it up close, feel it, smell it, risk its contamination, and wash the feet of those we serve.
In that moment at the table Jesus was host and servant, head of the table and servant, honoured guest and lowest member of staff, holy and humble one. Stripping himself of all status and authority he calls us to a humility that flies in the face of modern culture and human logic, to a holiness that follows his pattern, to love in the name of the Servant God.
#LentVoices - Facebook and Linkedin
We are a diverse group of Christian freelancers who have collaborated to curate daily reflections during Lent. Each week will have a theme, explored 6 different ways on 6 days. Andy Campbell – Coach, Trainer, Artist, Poet and occasional square peg. Andy helps people work out who they are, and what their next step might be. https://qawah.co.uk
James Fox Robinson – Creative, 3rd Order Franciscan, Dreamer, Professional Nuisance. James is passionate about curating spaces for people to engage with God’s story, physically and digitally. www.jamesfoxrobinson.blog https://bit.ly/3akNVzR
Lucie Hutson – teacher and learner, created and creator, speaker and pioneer. Lucie is passionate about helping people to wander and wonder in the world around us. www.muddychurch.co.uk
Hasna Khatun – Ordained Pioneer Minister in the C of E. Teacher and Professional Actor/Presenter/Voiceover. Hasna lives to eat and laugh sparingly… She’d like to write an alternative script for Barbie, Ken and Cindy and adores the people who don’t fit in. linkedin.com/in/hasna-k-b0941b204
Sally Nash – Author, Researcher, Educator, Priest, Mentor, Spiritual Accompanier. Sally is passionate about helping people fulfil their potential and make a bigger difference in their world. www.sallynash.co.uk