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Communion Meditations (2016)

Washing Her Feet

Originally scheduled for March 27

Most of us have been to a traditional wedding which involves the custom of tossing the garter. It’s generally a ribald time in the wedding; the bride is encouraged where the garter as far up her leg as possible, for example. It is a source of sensuality and suggestiveness which, if you think about it, is rather inappropriate for a Christian wedding.

One young man has done something about this, and rather started a trend. He substituted something else for the tossing of the garter, something which he thought would be much more significant. He washed his bride’s feet. At first glance this might seem to be rather odd, but you will recall that Christ washed the disciples feet. This is not a gesture of starting your marriage with a “yes, dear” attitude. It is rather the statement in action of a husband who is assuming the servant-leadership of his family.

The example is quite clear. Christ, who describes his church as the “bride of Christ”, washed the feet of his apostles on the night before the crucifixion. Christ, as husband, is granted full authority over his bride. Indeed, all authority is given to Christ. In a way, we can see Christ “taking ownership” of his new bride by the act of washing the apostle’s feet. He takes act by an act of service. He confirms that ownership by his sacrifice on the cross the next day. He thus sets an example for all Christian leaders — and that includes husbands.

We often hear the word “sacrifice” when talking about the Christian life. We think about the sacrifice of Christ as an example for our own lives, for example. But servant leadership is also modeled for us. At communion we often remember the sacrifice of Christ, but we casually pass over the example of servant leadership the night before. May I submit that when you take communion you are not only remembering the sacrifice which Christ made on the cross, but you are also remembering that he is Lord as well as Savior. When you take this communion, then, do so in obedience to your Lord. Take it as he commanded you to take it; in self-examination. Ask yourself whether or not Christ is genuinely the Lord of your life. If the answer is no, then this is a time for reflection and repentance for you. If you accept his sacrifice on the cross for your salvation, you must accept his Lordship in your life.

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