Jesus had an unwavering sense of identity. Without question he knew who he was. This is seen clearly in John’s statement that Jesus knew “that he had come from God and was returning to God.” (John 13:3) It was this self-understanding that gave direction and purpose for his life, and the ability to serve as indicated by his willingness to wash his disciples’ feet there in the Upper Room.
I sometimes wonder what the Church, indeed the world would look like if we who claim to be followers of Jesus had a similar sense of identity. We are God’s children, you know. And as God’s children we are called and given the opportunity to do many things, not the least of which is to serve, as God in Christ has served us in many ways. During the past months opportunities for service have multiplied exponentially. COVID has laid bare our human vulnerability and the need for compassionate witness to God’s love for all people — just as this same witness was needed when Jesus was with his people centuries ago.
So, knowing that he had come from God and was going to return to God he served — his greatest act of service being in his dying for us on the cross, and in so doing washing not our feet, but our souls. It is this act of service that we remember throughout Lent. An old hymn puts it this way: “Lay aside your garments that are stained with sin, and be washed in the blood of the Lamb.
There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean. O be washed in the blood of the Lamb.” Ponder and celebrate the truth contained in these words. And as we approach the conclusion of this holy season, allow this truth to give increased direction and meaning to your life. For there will always be feet that need to be washed by those of us who, like Jesus, know that we too are on our way to God.