Fear of Footwashing

By its very nature, ministry tugs at one’s heart and soul.  So many times over the last 10+ years, I have been moved by the work I do.  Below are many such moments captured in photos.  My current favorite is the most recent– Holy Thursday 2015.  My associate and I go back and forth every year about footwashing.  He says, it’s not Maundy Thursday without it.  I say, yes, but people get so uncomfortable we usually have no one participate.  Not a single soul except the pastors.  Handwashing, they’ll do.  Footwashing, everyone looks at their laps and stays frozen in the pew.

So we tried a new approach.  We planned a simple soup supper and integrated worship and communion into the meal.  Outside the sanctuary, around our “supper table” set up in the parlor, we first gathered the children and asked them to be brave.  We told them the story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, and asked them if they were braver than the adults, and they kicked off their shoes.  We washed their feet, and they giggled and laughed with delight.  Then the adults came forward and asked to help, to wash, and to be washed.  Starting with the children made all the difference to break the tension and bring warmth, tenderness, and even humor into the moment.  And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we raised a generation of children who ran to wash the feet of others, who understood the power of both serving and being served?

Waiting for a footwashing on Holy Thursday, 2015

Waiting for a footwashing on Holy Thursday, 2015

Holy Thursday, 2015

Holy Thursday, 2015

The young and the old come for footwashing, Holy Thursday 2015

The young and the old come for footwashing, Holy Thursday 2015

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s