The table is set, the meal is ready. But one more job to do.
The disciples’ toes were dirty.
Who have you let touch your feet? Would you present them quickly to Jesus?
Strange to us, but normal for them, the washing of feet was necessary before a meal. Everyone reclining together, lounging at the table. But if stinky, muddy, ugly feet were close, who could enjoy the food?
Of course, this was someone else’s job. Not the master of the house. He has more important things to do, providing the food, pouring the wine, leading the ritual conversation. How could he be soiled, by other people’s toes?
Yet look at Jesus, he gives himself. He takes off his outer garments. He becomes exposed to other people’s judgments.
He invites them over, takes their feet, pours out the water of absolution.
Sure, he gets messy in the process. But his disciples whom he loves, now they are welcome at the table. He has washed, cleansed, and covered over the ickiest, stickiest parts of their entire body. Now they can eat and drink, enjoying fully, the meal set before them. (And what a feast it is!)
Finally, a small challenge given. A simple invitation. Go and do as I have done. Become a servant of others. Not because of who you are, but because of what I have given.
This is the path of blessing.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.