Thursday, April 21, 2011

Will You Let Me Be Your Servant?

Tonight I participated in the most moving Maundy Thursday service ever. This is something the Lutheran and Presbyterian churches in Petersburg do together. We sang and prayed and read scripture and heard God's Word proclaimed...then the foot washing. Every Maundy Thursday service I have been to until tonight, needed "plants" in the congregation--those few people who agree ahead of time to go forward for foot washing in hopes of convincing others to do so as well. It always feels awkward and a bit contrived.

Tonight, you could barely keep people away. No one was asked ahead of time to come forward first. The spirit in which Pastors Cantu and Cardot washed each one's feet was noteworthy as well. Neither was using a particular formulaic blessing or prayer, but each was blessing the congregants by name and in relationship to who they were. All were known and were accordingly blessed. It was impossible to hold back the tears. There was a mix of humble service and such honesty. The foot washing was followed by the prayers of the people and communion and the stripping of the altar. God was among us in such a tangible way.

As I have been pondering this experience, a song has been running through my head, "The Servant Song."

Have a blessed Holy Week.

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