For the last ten years I’ve been very involved in Holy Week worship services, most often leading those services, always enjoying them, but not this year. For the first time in a long time my job is keeping me from being in services this week. So, no Good Friday and no Maundy Thursday services for me. No symbolic foot washing for me this year, but is that such a bad thing?
Jesus did say, “you also should do as I have done” not “Wouldn’t this make a great annual symbol of serving?” Even as I’m disappointed this year that work is keeping me from so many of the worship services I love, service has no end. Today at work, I can serve. I can go beyond expectations and set the bar higher and higher for helping and caring for people. I can work like I’m in worship.
If the story of Holy Week and the sacrificial love and action of Jesus are to be transformational, then it must leave the pages of scripture and take root to grow in our lives. It must become our story, not just our calendar or our symbolic remembrance. Let’s go into this day, all days, wherever we work, doing our job like we’re in worship.
12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you…
33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
from John 13, NRSV
And if you haven’t seen it, here’s the
Easter message from our Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.
I love his quote, “Don’t be ashamed to be people of love.”