Were you there? I wasn’t. I was on a plane flying home from our Alaska adventure and I wasn’t going to be there for Love Feast…and it bothered me. That would make two Love Feasts in a row that I was absent. We had been away on vacation during last Spring’s Holy Week Maundy Thursday service. So, I was particularly disappointed that I would be absent again and it crossed my mind several times as we traveled the Alaskan Highway.
Why did it cross my mind? Simply because it is the highest holy service we practice in the Church of the Brethren. It is when we are drawn closest to our Lord, and we can feel the incredible sacrifice Christ made and what it means for every single one of us. It is when we reenact the beauty of the entire Last Supper.
Most churches wouldn’t think of reenacting the whole series of events that Christ taught the disciples that night, but we do. Why? We do it because Christ did it. It’s actually very simple. He is our Lord and Savior. He gives us the example and so we practice feet washing as He did. We eat a love meal as He did, and we celebrate communion with Him as He taught us.
I’m told that our service on October 1st was extraordinarily meaningful. The words and music touched the hearts of those who were there. I’m hoping you were one of the ones who felt Christ’s presence that morning. If you were not, if you chose not to come, it may be because the practice of feet washing seems so odd. I was one of you many years ago. After my baptism at age twelve, I was terrified of my first Love Feast. I was going to have to wash somebody else’s feet! On top of that, nobody told me that the washing tub would flip if you didn’t lift up your foot from the basin while your other foot was being dried. Well, the tub flipped, turned over completely and we had the Johnstown Flood in the men’s feet washing area.
It took me years to get over it, but I did and now feet washing is something I look forward to the most. You see, it is a perfect example of how Christ expects us to serve others.
Now, if that’s the reason you’ve been avoiding Love Feast, I urge you to give it a try. You don’t have to participate in feet washing. We offer washing hands as a substitute for those who cannot wash feet. The point is you are missing way too much by staying away. It is a holy and sacred time with his disciples and that includes all of us. So, simply stated, we do it because Jesus did.
By: Rod O’Donnell
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