What Kind of Love is This? Getting Ready for Good Friday and Easter

I’m writing this on Maundy Thursday, the celebration of Jesus' last meal with his disciples where he – the Rabbi, the Teacher, the Lord – washed their feet. The disciples were rightfully confused. 

Not only does Jesus bend down and touch their dirty feet, they recline together as friends, they drink wine and eat bread together, and John is described as laying "upon the breast of Jesus" depicting two males comfortable with physical closeness.

The scene is intimate, embodied, and incarnational. And it is in this context that Jesus gives his "new" commandment that they are to love one another as he has loved them. 

The message of God's love has an intellectual component to be sure, but it gets to us through our bodies, our senses, our hunger, our sickness and wellness, our suffering and joy, our living and dying; God's love took shape in a body and walked around ancient Palestine. Mercy came upon those early Christians through physical instruments like water, wine, bread, and in the gathering of many bodies into one body to worship.  

Still today we meet Jesus as we make ourselves present in those places where his love takes up residence in our physical world, in liminal spaces where Jesus is experienced in a way that, while different from how those first disciples must have experienced him, is still real enough that every Sunday we repeat "this is my body, eat this in remembrance of me."

Jesus' command to "love one another" isn't just spoken but it is incarnated. It is given around a table where feet are washed and food is passed down one to the other. Real love, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday love, always has "hands and feet" and utilizes not only words but physical touch, money, and time.

To give this kind of love we must first receive it, and so I invite you to join us tonight at 6:30 at Grace Bible on 12th and Clay night as we remember Jesus' real, physical, embodied love for each of us as he gave his life on a cross.