He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
The saviour bent down to serve, and Peter stops him.
He calls him Lord, and yet he cannot accept his gesture of service.
His cultural imprint won’t allow it, and his piety must be shown.
Peter, upon hearing Jesus’ reply says with a impassioned cry,
“Then, Lord, “Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” John 13:9
Jesus kindly corrects Peter and redirects his enthusiasm for ritual cleanliness towards this profound reality, “you are clean”
In a moment where Peter thinks an outward symbol would help him be “part” of Jesus, he misses the fact that he is already a friend.
This month I have been tempted to pronounce my fasting with ashes on my head. I have been tempted to believe that through “setting myself apart” I am doing something. Oh I am participating, but I needed to realize I am not doing the work. Being set apart, being clean is always His work.
The more I focused on being satisfied with my fasting, the more I made a spiritual checklist, vigorously ticking off the boxes; fasted…check, prayed…check (well a quick one anyways), Sunday night prayer time…check, read the blog…most days – check. The more boxes I ticked the more consecration became my work. I have been tempted to rise above the crowd of disciples and display my righteousness declaring boldy, “not just my feet but my hands and head as well.” But I know my own soul. I know I have checked spiritual boxes for the sake of the crowd and not The One.
Then in that space of seeing my own soul and knowing I checked boxes for others and not my father I feel unclean like a child caught in a tale with no exit to be found. In a very precious moment I stand before my Father and I acknowledge, He saw it all, and was never fooled.
So I read the words, “you are clean” and I hear my father say, let me do the work. Let me wash your feet, let me consecrate you. Let me change your heart. “Surrender instead of “do more”, and I will consecrate you.” I hear the Lord say.
24For I will take you from among the nations and gather you out of all the countries, and I will bring you back into your own land. 25I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. 26I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes and to carefully observe My ordinances.
“I will” always proceeds “you will”. I Am is always before me.
I will gather, I will bring you back, I will sprinkle clean water on you, I will cleanse you, I will give you a new heart and a new spirit, I will remove your heart of stone, I will give you a heart of flesh, I will put My Spirit in you, I will cause you to walk in my statues.
You will be clean, you will live, and you will be my people.
I will be your God, I will save you.
May I rest in the simple place of bing alive in you and being your child. I am weary from my will. I am weary from performing, comparing, doing, all in the name of religion. Will you rekindle the warm light of your love that first made my heart soft again. Lord, my heart moves towards being petrified as easily as a fruit fly to sugar. Would you give me a heart of flesh. You do the work of consecration Lord, I will simply let you wash my feet. I will rest in the beautiful hope of knowing, I am clean.