When talking to Stacy’s family via skype last week it was mentioned that there was 3 inches of new snow in Wisconsin. Jokingly I responded “There are 3 inches of new sand on our floor every day.”
Now that may be an exaggeration… but the sand, dust, and the dirt have reminded me of Jesus a lot lately. Maybe I should explain.
Senegal may not technically be in the Sahara desert, but it does sit on the boarder. If I were to describe the landscape to you, I wouldn’t be talking about lush vegetation. When the wind blows, it blows right through our windows, carrying with it the loose dust and sand.
Even indoors it is a challenge to keep your feet clean, when you go outside, forget about it. When I went to wash my nasty feet a few nights ago I was reminded of the account in John where Jesus washes his disciple’s feet.
I have heard it mentioned many times that one of the main reasons people needed to wash their feet was because the livestock… well, behaved like livestock and made the streets that much dirtier. I’m not in Biblical Israel, but I am living in a city with its fair amount of livestock on the roads and walkways. And even in the crowded market no one stepped in the “peanut butter” as one fellow missionary called it. So while I’m sure the occasional miss-step happened I don’t think the disciples feet were riddled with animal droppings.
No, I’m convinced the disciple’s feet were more likely covered with the normal everyday dirt of life (Which is filthy in its own right), and that may be more meaningful. It isn’t like all the disciples had a bad day and forgot to watch where they were stepping. This wasn’t an emergency washing that wasn’t normally needed. This was a washing that they had all needed every single day of their lives. Then Jesus, the one whom John the Baptist spoke of when he said “even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” (John 1:27), stooped down and took the place of a servant and washed all the filth away. The Lord of the universe, set aside “His rights” and instead looked to the needs of the ones He loved.
The new life that we have been given as Christians is Christ’s life, and He calls us to live it the same way he did: As servants.
Now when I wash my feet, or the feet of my children I am reminded of how much Jesus first loved me.
“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” – 2 Corinthians 4:5