Monday, 28 March 2016
Reflection Maundy Thursday 2016
On a busy street lined with stores, clubs and restaurants there stands an unassuming looking grey building. Out front residents relax on benches. In the courtyard a figure kneels, his face upturned, ready to meet the glance of passers-by. He wears jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, sleeves rolled up. His feet are bare. Those who see him uncomfortably look the other way not wanting to look him in the eyes. Some look angry that this poor excuse for a person has invaded their conscious space. Perhaps they should ask the city government to ban such people from their lovely city.
One hand reaches out while the other dips into a shallow basin in a most tender invitation. Lips slightly parted, he seems to say, “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.” This may shock you to picture Jesus as a homeless man. But who did Jesus consort with while he was with us? Was it the rich and famous–the rulers–the religious leaders? Or was it the poor, the outcast, the tax collectors, women and children, the sinners and others on the edges of society? He is the one who put himself in the servant’s role and washed the feet of his guests. He is the one whose message is for those who are most in need of him, the sinners, the poor, the lepers; the ones who are abused, abandoned, who have no power. This is the one who gives us a glimpse of where we could look for Jesus when he returns.
The bronze statue called Christ the Servant by Jimlu Mason kneels in front of the entrance to Christ House, an inner city medical clinic for homeless men and women in Washington DC.
In this place of shelter and healing it is a timeless icon of humble service—Jesus bends to wash the feet of those who are all but forgotten.
Tonight we gather to hear the sacred stories, pour water and the wiping of feet, say prayers, share the holy meal, and strip away our most beloved vessels and linens. Let us hold in our hearts this image of Christ the Servant, kneeling, inviting, bending before each of us, face upturned to meet our gaze, lips slightly parted, saying as he said then, says now and into eternity, “Love one another.” And in loving one another may we bend—may we be moved to humbly serve all who pass by on the busy streets of our lives.
Let us pray*: Loving Lord, please grant us the hearts of servanthood that we may see the need in others and be willing to stop, listen and respond to them as a fellow child of God. We ask this through the greatest of servants, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
*Gerry Adam, Deacon and Director Huron Church Camp,
and Family Ministry at St James Westminster London ON.