To share of his share


‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’

Supper time. And the feet. And Jesus’ words: “you shall have no share with me”

Feet are a big deal in hot countries. Our holiday with our Turkish family. Sandals on and off all the time. Old and young. They have a sort of dance over the the threshold. The timing of one shoe off, followed by the other footfall and off and straight over the doorway into the home. We could never manage that graceful way of entering (and exiting) a house. We had to stop and fiddle with our trainers each time.

Yet walk into a house/home fully shod? That is a big no-no.

”I have taken off my robe— must I put it on again? I have washed my feet— must I soil them again?” Song of Songs 5:3

“Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.” Genesis 18:4

“So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.” Judges 19:21

“… and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.” 1 Timothy 5:10

Feet seemed to be accepted and enjoyed once clean. There is no foot fetish going on here. Simply keeping dirt out of the home. That is the important bit.

‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’

Washed and clean. Bathed and fresh. Just the feet. Not the rest of me. Just the feet to keep dirt out of the home. I am to wash your feet. I am of I Am. He washed our feet. I am to wash your feet. You are to wash my feet. We are to keep dirt out of “the home”. We are to kneel to each other and Him. We are to be like Him. Or we have no share with Him. We are outside the Home. We are outside with the dirt.

There are symbols and there are symbols. The pope washed feet. Under the glare of tv cameras and a carefully managed performance. I saw that and winced. Cringed a little inside. It had that kinda of sledgehammer feel to it. You will “get it or else” kinda feel. Guess he was trying to show us all what Jesus did. As best he knows how. With his choreographed timed organised rehearsed perfectly lit foot washing. Not sure he got it either. Kind of turned a symbol into a cymbal for me.

Yet here is Jesus. Privately. Unexpectedly. Intimately. As always showing how. Had the pope done the washing in private without the cameras. Had the story spread by word of mouth? How much more powerful would have been his message? Just like this story in John 13.

This symbol, this symbolic act, at supper – the real deal application of “love one another”. The symbol acting out the “love God, your neighbour and yourself”. Putting weight behind “the last shall be first and the first last”. Tossing hierarchy on its head. Casting aside “the natural order of things”. All the historical “being born into” thrown out of the window. All the heritage – and expectation – of being the “chosen people” redefined.

Now we are invited to focus on what “I am” inside. How I live with God Jesus within. How I think with God Jesus within. Who I am with God Love within. How much space I allow Him. How much I share with Him.

‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’

There are symbols and there are symbols. Yet as always – we seem prefer to reading this as “cymbals”. Noisy, flashy and in your face kind of cymbals? Look at me kind of symbols. I get it. Just watch me. See me get it? You should get it as well. I can make you get it. And we bash our cymbals louder and louder. Never seeing the difference.

‘You have no share with me.’

I may never ever wash another’s feet. I may never ever die for another. I don’t think I have to emulate the symbols. I think I am to take the symbol. And avoid making it my cymbal. Of noise and show. I think I have to allow the symbol to change me. To allow Him a little more space inside where He lives and breathes still. To share of His share. To be more I am of I Am.

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8 thoughts on “To share of his share

  1. This is one of the most amazing and incredible moments in the entire Bible. It’s one of those moments that can make us so uncomfortable that we need to protect ourselves from its full impact, and its implications; it is simply that counter-intuitive for us today!

    I love the way you put it: symbol into cymbal!

    Yes, the scene is too starkly convicting…

    Great post!

    • Odd that when I saw the pope repeat this, I felt squirmy. Those people all seated on chairs in a straight line. The inevitable pope circus in action.

      Yet this “symbolic act” as related in John .. it gets me in the same way as your comment. One of great power and significance (and slap bang in the middle of your faith/works piece today on Hebrews). I find yet again so little to argue over. And so much to be changed by. What struck me this morning was the final bit about “doing symbols” – that replication becomes ritual. And always with the inherent danger of glorifying self. That clanging “me” cymbal.

      Seems to me that symbols should change the inside of a chap, not become a party piece. Faith Works so we don’t have to.

      • It always seems to me that when something becomes a ritual, it has lost all meaning. Oh, I’m sure the official ritual book might explain it, but never in a way that makes anybody uncomfortable, never in a way that moves us to grow and change…Yes, it becomes about “me” and not about “Him.” Even our English translations of the text are worded to protect our delicate sensibilities from being shocked by what actually took place!

  2. This is such a great post on so many levels. I think many who strive to forward the Faith do turn symbols into cymbals! We can’t replicate what Jesus has done and some things I see also make me “squirmy” Christ set the example. We don’t have to repeat the act, but rather implement the message the act conveys.

    Your blog really blesses me, I think you will find it is evolving and taking on a life of its own that you never imagined. It has a different “feel” to it for lack of a better explanation that is refreshing.

    Cool refreshing water.

    I have no idea what those words are supposed to mean to you but there it it is. I’m only the messenger?! B Blessed 😉

    • Lilka – I take your words in the way they are given. A real gift – thank you. “Cool refreshing water”

      Right now it pings no bells. Yet too many times something oblique has whacked me between the eyes later! I guess all of us are familiar with that bit of godly 2×4 🙂

      Your encouragement is “uplifting” – thank you again!

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