HOLY THURSDAY

Author: Fr. Michael Byron
April 18, 2019

We have made the gospel of Jesus Christ far too complicated over the course of the years and the centuries.  And the pastors and theologians have been the more significant part of the problem in all that.  I count myself among both.  This evening’s gospel cuts through the false pretense in this by reminding us of what is at the heart of the life witness of Jesus Christ, the essence of what it means to be  a Christian, and in fact to be an integral human being.  He came among us as one who served others.  Not just by being kind in a sort of vanilla Minnesota way.  Not merely by being deferential and humble in the face of immediate disruptions and disappointments.  He got down on his knees and washed other people’s feet, when nobody asked for or expected that from him.  Stinky, dirty, varicose veiny, ingrown toenailed, rashy feet.  What more primal or explicit demonstration of the purpose of his life is possible than that?  This is the heart of what it all means.  And the minute we try to make our faith something more disconnected from that sort of humble service, we begin to deceive ourselves.

So let us make this night a homecoming, a return to what church is all about.  Let your feet be washed, however humbling that may seem to be to you.  And let yourself wash the feet of another, however off-putting that may feel. 

It’s not about you.  It’s not about me.  It’s about service to those with whom we share life.  Tonight’s Eucharist calls us back to our stark, naked center.  If that seems too difficult, too off-putting, then think again.
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