Church of England Diocese of Norwich St. Peter, Sheringham

A Meditation for Maundy Thursday - John 13.1-17 and 31-35 - The Washing of Feet

1 Apr 2021, 4 p.m.

You will need to have to hand: a jug of water and a towel, and a candle and matches. If there are others in your household, do encourage them to join in ... perhaps share out the readings/leading with them. Our meditation today takes a different form. This is the night when, traditionally, the church remembers Jesus at the Last Supper. So we will try to centre this meditation around the meal table – with an ordinary meal. When the instructions say ‘have a sandwich’ that may be taken literally if you are enjoying a light meal, of it may represent eating the next course if your meal is more complex. Try to make it a leisurely affair. Unlike the other gospels, John does not centre his account on the bread and wine, but on the washing of feet. [Note: Perhaps that is helpful this year, since for some traditions celebrating the Holy Communion may necessitate an ordained person presiding, and that might be difficult. However, should you wish to do so, you could additionally include the use of bread and wine (or some substitute) as a agape meal, perhaps using the reading from Matthew 26.26-30. But this meditation here follows John, with his special focus.] Meditation: Place the jug and towel on or near the table, as a point of focus. Read John 13.1-5 - Feet-washing Have a sandwich. While you eat, think / talk about: Have you known, in a workplace or organisation you have been involved with, a boss who has voluntarily chosen to behave in an obviously servant way? Luke tells us (Lk 22.24) that even at this very meal the disciples began to argue about which of them was the greatest. No wonder they wouldn’t wash feet! In what ways does our pride get in the way of serving Jesus? Read 13.6-11 – Peter objects Have a sandwich While you eat, think/talk about: Humility is needed if one is to be a servant, but it is also needed to receive. Are we good at receiving? Does our pride sometimes prevent us receiving from other people, or from Jesus? When did you last ‘give in’ to Jesus, and let him come really close ...? Can you remember what it felt like ...? After the meal, but before clearing it away: Read John 13.12- 17 and 33-35 Place the candle on the table and light it. It represents Christ present at your table, and you at his. Silently or aloud, welcome Christ to your home, your room, your heart. Be still in his presence. Enjoy being with him.... When you are ready continue: Hear again Jesus’ instruction to be the servant of your sisters and brothers in Christ.How can you remind yourself daily of this, until it becomes second nature ...? Do you think this instruction should be limited to serving only other Christians? Dwell with the new command: to love one another. To be servant, but also to be vulnerable: Trusting one another. Receiving from one another. Mutually blessing one another. In what ways has the present emergency hindered or helped, to bring this trust, acceptance, and blessing into being? You might consider: Have new people been enabled to take initiatives? Have you become more willing the accept the ministrations of others? Has there been greater or lesser trust; honesty; sharing of truth or insight; mutual working or blessing? Have you been aware of local, national or international sharing and working together? Whatever you have found to be grateful for, say a simple prayer of thanks.M.N. Lent 2020