As Pastor Jason began washing the feet of the second grade Vacation Bible School kids, following the story of Jesus’ washing his disciples feet, he offered, ‘If you don’t want me to wash your feet, I can wash your hands.’
It was a kind gesture, cautious for those who may not want to remove their shoes out of personal preference. But, I (leader of these impressionable young children), in my snarky sarcastic, not quite spiritual enough temperament, said, ‘With the same water you’re washing their feet??’
Jason, knowing and loving me, gave me that ‘you’re ruining this moment’ glare, and said, ‘Yes…’
But it was Anne, a veteran teacher, mentor, and spiritual leader who replied, just as casually and sassily as I had begun, ‘Holy water is antibacterial’.
Touché, my friend, touché! I admired her quick wit, so well-matched with mine, and then, I went back to attending to the kids who were removing and then replacing their shoes after being holy washed.
It was later that I processed the depth of what Anne had said in her moment of quick repartee. We rely on antibacterial soaps and gels to remove the unwanted filth of the world around us…the germs from the gas pump handle, the residue from the public bathroom door, the grime of any surface at the Y. We want the yuckiness of the world to disappear…and be replaced with cleanliness.
Just as Jesus showed his followers to replace the bad with good, the sorrow with joy, the weary with comfort, so must we go about the work of wiping away the filthy residue of the world and leave behind the sparkling newness of God.
Let’s approach the world that way, and wash it with the antibacterial properties of holiness.
Want the rest of the story, try here John 13.