Out of ashes
– an invitation to a holy season –
From which we have journeyed
over rough and rugged terrain.
It always is.
Because life is.
At least life can be. And yet, through the rocky places
Jesus walks with us, God is present, love come down,
and we journey through.
So here we are. The Holiest of Weeks
and now, an invitation to sit.
To wash feet and be washed
to remember that Jesus did too.
But first, before Jesus washed feet
Mary of Bethany washed Jesus’ feet.
She burst into a room full of men eating dinner
and plunged herself to the floor, embracing Jesus’ foot
in her hands. She anointed the gnarled toes.
She gently smoothed the calloused heels
and massaged the aching arches.
She held his feet in her hands,
and rubbed them with an ointment
so fragrant that the residue must have lingered for days.
On his feet. On her hands.
And so, when he washed the feet of his disciples,
wafts of Mary’s fragrant ointment, her symbol of love
would waft through the water, the movement
of hands and towels
and remind them all that Mary
what they all were just beginning to grasp.
The love of God in Jesus is deep. It is a love
that heals all wounds, a love that does not require suffering
of anyone. No, this love reaches into the suffering places
and seeks to anoint the wounded with a balm of heavenly grace.
There is tragedy ahead. Jesus knows it. Mary knew it.
The disciples will see it and run away.
Jesus will face into the violence and the women
will walk with him, all the way.
They hold his eyes in theirs and love him through his pain.
But that comes later.
Now, for now, Jesus is washing feet
and then sharing a meal,
and talking about
I think I am going to reflect on Mary of Bethany tonight and how her fragrant love permeates the love that Jesus shows to his disciples when he washes their feet. How the fragrance must have lingered for days, the essence of which reminding Jesus of the tenderness of love, the bravery of love, the strength of love, the power of love.
No doubt that love gave him strength. No doubt God’s love in Jesus gives us strength too.
What are your thoughts for this Holy Week? For this Maundy Thursday? Are you going to have supper? Are you going to wash and be washed? Are you going to sit and pray at an all night vigil?
Not exactly a preacher party, but a time for us to share ideas, pray, and be present through this day.