It is a chilly, gray, rainy, snowy day in Denver, Colorado on this late Maundy Thursday afternoon. I am contemplating how to present the story of the Passover meal that Jesus and his disciples would share one last time. My thoughts keep going, not to the supper, but to the basin of water that sits obscurely on a small table in the back of the room.

A bowl and pitcher of water sit on a table alongside a wooden crossWater, the symbol of new life and God’s grace, that we as Christians use at our baptisms. Water, the substance we all must have. Water, the drink that Jesus thought was being given to him on the cross. Water, clean, fresh water. And, with that water Jesus did something remarkable. He knelt down after the supper and washed the feet of the disciples – washed the traveling dust from their feet. His actions in that one instance of servanthood is almost overlooked in the Holy Week story because the shadow of the cross lay just a few short hours away.

Jesus’ love for us, for all – the marginalized, the forgotten, the poor of spirit, and us – is present not only in the empty cross and the empty tomb, but in the gentle washing of feet – a common custom of the day that meant the world to the disciples. May your Holy days be washed in the gentle, warm, fresh water of Jesus’ presence through the Holy Spirit.

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