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Track the story with your hands and feet

by davesandel on April 1st, 2021

Thursday, April 1, 2021                     (today’s lectionary)

Holy Thursday

Track the story with your hands and feet

Pick out a perfect lamb. At twilight slaughter the lamb, and take some of its blood and apply it to the doorposts and lintel of every house. Eat its roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. This is how you should eat it: with your loins girded up, sandals on your feet and staff in hand. You shall eat like those in flight. This is the PASSOVER of the Lord.

Paschal mystery. The suffering of the slaves ending at last, as they are released by their God to become free men and women. Wandering in the desert, yes, but free at last, free at last.

The word “paschal” is Hebrew for Passover. The paschal mysteries don’t lie in the events, they lie in the connections between God and Moses, then God and the Hebrews, and finally God in Jesus and God and me. The tradition and events are simple, sweet and straightforward, but what’s behind them carries me from birth to death in wonder. God living among us. God suffering along with us. God tearing himself in three so we can relate to him as father, friend and inner voice. God on the cross.

On this same night I will strike down every firstborn, both man and beast, and execute judgment on all the gods of Egypt. But the blood will mark your houses, and seeing the blood, I will pass over you.

Oh, you Hebrew father and husband, plunge your hands into the sheep blood and mark your door. Let the blood of life soak beneath your fingernails and into your pores. Be careful of splinters when you mark the doorpost. Know how close God is when your hands touch all these things.

And I will take up the cup of salvation, call upon your name. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

Hold your hand up before your lips, feel the warm air as you breathe in and breathe out, breathe in and breathe out. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. One day my body will turn cold, and my breath will stop. All the more, then, to take up the old pewter cup now and drink, drink the water of life, drink the blood of Jesus, drink and feel salvation find its way to every corner of my body, every bend inside my soul.

As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Precious in the sight of the Lord … o taste and see … feel the hand of God resting gently on your head, blessing you, as often as you eat, as often as you drink.

I took a photo once of Andi and Aki holding their one year old son Miles between them, creasing his cheeks with their lips. Kisses! Life giving! Parents pouring everything out into their child. I think of a three-sided kiss, which is so much fun, add another side and imagine Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit immersing me in their kisses. Immersing Margaret. Immersing all of us with the kiss of God.

Jesus rose from supper and took off his shirt. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. He poured water and began to wash his disciples’ feet and then dry them with the towel around his waist.

Miles is over four now. He colors palm leaves to lay at Jesus’ feet. Yesterday we were together sitting at the table, and he was barefoot. We talked about Mary washing Jesus’ feet with a pound of perfume, and then just a few days later, of Jesus washing our feet with water, and rubbing them dry with a towel. He knew the stories. I massaged his foot for a moment. We went on to something else. Jesus sat with us, listening.

Master, are you going to wash my feet? Jesus answered and said to Peter, “What I’m doing you don’t understand now, but you will understand later.” Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”

Jesus teaches us every day. Wash each other’s feet, share our lives, look beyond our own self-interest, live by love and through love and in love, with our hands and feet.

(Exodus 12, Psalm 116, 1 Corinthians 11, John 13)

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