I can vividly remember when Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying” came out and I loved it! Don’t judge me people, you know it’s the jam! (I still love it…I’m writing this with it on in the background on repeat!)
If you haven’t heard it, you are missing out on quite the country track, but regardless you can probably guess the premise of the song . If you were given the news that you didn’t have long to live then ultimately you would live differently. In McGraw’s song, he would go skydiving, Rocky Mountain climbing and ride a bull named Fumanchu for 2.7 seconds.
For most of my life, I thought I would do similar things, minus our boy Fumanchu…, but I would go cross off the bucket list for sure. However, Jesus gives us a different picture as he faces his death. There is no bucket list or grand purchase, but simply a bowl and towel.
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end…so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. – John 13:1, 4-5
First off, can we just agree on something? Feet are gross. Moving on. Second, the disciples feet were real disgusting. Third, Jesus knew the hour had come for him to leave this world and his response is to WASH HIS DISCIPLES FEET. Are you kidding me? If it were me, I would be tell the boys, that I’m going to go walk on water one more time or multiply a Hebrew Happy Meal to feed the multitudes. Jesus doesn’t do that though. He does what he has always done, which is serve those around him.
When he’s done washing their feet, he gives them some instructions:
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. – John 13:12-17
He tells them to follow his example and wash one another’s feet. If the God of the universe in human form can wash feet, then we can as well. What does this look like for us during a pandemic? Two things came to mind for me.
Washing Feet Means Washing Hands
When I was journaling through this verse, this phrase kept popping into my head. In this season of life, washing feet means washing hands. It means to literally wash your hands! Seriously, you should be doing this anyway people, but we can serve each other by staying home, staying healthy and washing our hands.
Metaphorically speaking, it means to serve those around you by being mindful and not cavalier with our actions. Let us wash feet this Holy Week by washing our hands.
Washing Feet Means Helping Others Wash Their Hands
One of the incredible initiatives Chels and I have partnered with in this season is Love Beyond Walls to help put up hand washing stations for the homeless, specifically in Austin and in Matamoros. You can read more about them here. In the middle of getting that off the ground, we were able to link with a friend who mobilized a partnership with Google that has already raised over $20,000 to assist in helping take the movement nation wide!
In times of plague or pandemics, Christians have always stepped up to the plate on behalf of those who need it most, even when others are running a different direction. I want it to be said of our family and my friends that we met the moment fearlessly, wisely, and sacrificially.
Practically, we are raising another $2,000 specifically for the sinks in Austin and Matamoros through a partnership with Hope Community Church. They each cost $200 and we’ll put 5 stations in each location. I would love for you to partner with our family as we wash feet by helping others wash hands.
In the face of death, Jesus defies culture by serving others and laying down his life. The elements were simple – a bowl, a towel and a servant’s heart.
What will be said of us in the face of a pandemic? I pray that we serve others and follow the example of our Savior. Sure, skydiving is still on my bucket list, but I think right now I will keep the elements simple with – a sink, some soap and a servant’s heart.