Monday, April 9, 2007

Modern Parallels to footwashing....

In John 13 we have the amazing account of Jesus washing His disciples feet. After He has washed their feet He told the disciples
in John 13:14 "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet." Most Evangelicals have concluded that this is not an ordinance that is to be regularly practiced. Instead they have along with D.A. Carson concluded that "the heart of Jesus' command is a humility and helpfulness toward brothers and sisters in Christ that may be cruelly parodied by a mere 'rite' of footwashing that easily masks an unbroken spirit and a haugty spirit." What is interesting is how does this really play out in our mega-church culture? Foot-washing is an extremely intimate, intentional, and humble act of service toward another. How can this be modeled in our communities of faith?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

While visiting the church in Russia I participated in a foot washing "ceremony". This is something that believe is to be continued on in the church today, and while I am not convinced that it is mandated in scripture, I was certainly blessed both to wash the feet of another and have my feet washed as well.

Joshua Ayres

The Tinker said...

Joshua,

I tend to agree with you that it is not a ceremony whose continuance is mandated. I have thought that intentional, re-occuring, and helpful acts of service should be done in lieu of foot-washing. One way this might occur is in a small group setting. Each week a different member could share two or three pressing service needs that they have and the group could try to help them with those needs. You could rotate who was being helped each week. Of course if serious needs came up those would be priority.

On another note it is interesting that in 1 Timothy 5 one of the requirements for those who would be on the "widow's list" was that they washed the saints feet.