Sermon for Maundy Thursday – Years A B & C (2)

What would it be like if Jesus was here with us this evening? Later we’ll affirm that the Lord is here; his Spirit is with us. But what if he was actually here, sitting in a pew in front of you, behind you, up in the choir stalls? We wouldn’t necessarily know him, of course. We might think he’s a visitor or someone responding to our Easter card and invitation. But then he gets up and comes to stand here, at the front and somehow our eyes are opened and we recognise him.

He wants to wash our feet.

Stunned silence; we freeze; nobody moves; nobody speaks; silence.

Now we know how Peter felt.

“I will never let you wash my feet”.

We get the same response Peter did:

“If I do not wash you, you have no part with me”

And don’t we all want to have some part with Jesus? To know him better; to hear his voice more clearly; to enjoy close fellowship with him in a way we can only imagine today.

So we let him wash our feet.

As he kneels in front of us he looks up with a loving smile and with eyes that see into our whole being. We are spiritually naked before him.

He sees the sadness and fears that we’ve never shared with anyone else; He sees the side of us that we wish no-one else could see. He sees the bits of us that we wish we couldn’t see; And the parts that are hidden even from ourselves. He sees the memories that hurt; the regrets about things we can’t undo. He sees everything and knows us better than we know ourselves.

And yet …… he wants to wash our feet, as if by doing so he can wash away all the stuff that hurts, grieves and shames us; as if he really loves us.

Such a realisation is almost too much for us and we look away from his gaze. We see his arms reaching out, his hands holding our feet. We see the scars which tell of how much it costs to love as he loves; to give as he gives and to serve as he serves.

But those scars remind us that we are Easter people. This is the risen Lord Jesus, who has gone through death and lives again, who kneels before us and says: “Peace be with you”.

What would it be like if the risen Lord Jesus was here with us this evening?

What would our tomorrow be like after such an encounter?

One thing’s for sure: life can’t be the same again when we’ve known the healing love of God in Jesus, ministered to us by others in his name. And when we ask him how to show our love and thankfulness he’ll say, as he did before,

“love one another; as I have loved you, so you are to love one another.”

The Lord is here
His Spirit is with us
Thanks be to God