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I can Jesus

by davesandel on April 5th, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Holy Thursday

John 13:12

When Jesus had washed the feet of his disciples and put has clothes back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?”

1 Cor 11:26

Paul writes, “As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

Jesus washes feet.  Oh, does he ever.  And he does it with a smile on his face and laughter in his heart.

Now these are ugly feet we’re talking about.  At least … mine arent’ so great.  I have a couple of screwy toenails that used to fascinate our grandson Jack when he got a chance to check them out.  Jack didn’t mind; he was just interested.  Jesus doesn’t mind either; he washes my feet anyway.

Jesus asks great questions.  This is one of his best.  “Do you realize what I have done for you?”  Here is a moment when Jesus makes explicit what we so often want to ignore: do what I have done.  “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

What has Jesus done?  What does he want us to do as well?  He creates love out of hate by serving his enemy.  He washes feet while others nail feet to a cross.  Nothing changes his decision to make love, not war.  He uses everything at his disposal to create something out of what looks for all the world like nothing.

In his book Original Blessing, Matthew Fox points out a wise comment made by psychologist Karen Horney.  “She defines masochism as ‘I can’tism.’  Whenever we say, ‘I can’t,’ as in the expression ‘I can’t be creative,’ or ‘I can’t change anything’ or ‘I can’t be mystical,’ we are setting ourselves up for the sins of the sadist, who is always wanting to tell us, ‘You can’t, but I can.’”

Then, going back several centuries, Fox writes, “Mechtild of Magdeburg puts the lie to all temptations to masochism when she says simply, ‘God has given me the power to change my ways.’”

Jesus sets a standard he insists that we can meet as well.  He is a lover.  And he will break through all of our sin, our passivity and aggression – or to say it more colorfully, our masochism and sadism, and make us lovers too.

What bread, what wine we have to savor every moment here on earth.  The body and blood of Christ.  Broken for us.  We are loved.

Thank you, Jesus, for asking me to think about what you have done for me and for insisting that I do the same for others.  And thank you for standing with me when I don’t and waiting patiently until I do.

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