Foot Washing God

A reflection on John 13.

Stunning. The Eternal Son had always interacted intimately with the fullness of Father and Spirit. Untainted, unrestrained communion. He had come from God. From the place of God gazing upon God. Entirely Holy Persons intertwined in indivisible love. In the greatness of humility, the Son took on the frail form of man.

And how does he carry himself as the God-Man? The one from God, the one returning to God – he comes on his knees with a towel around his waist and a bowl for dirty feet. He comes via the way of the cross, and to the cross he will go, knowing and showing true glory.

Notice the man fidgeting amongst the twelve. Eyes darting, the smell of silver on his sweating palms. The man whose seeds of anger were about to bloom in blood and death. It says 'he had loved his disciples... and now he loved them to the very end'. And so he would love Judas to the very end.

The hands of the Creator enfold the feet of the betrayer. Judas has made his choice, but still mercy and meekness are poured upon him. Words once spoken hang heavy in the air: 'But love your enemies, and do good... expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful' (Luke 6).

Oh Jesus. Fill us with the love of the foot-washing God. Amen.

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