"So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet." John 13:14 (NRSV)
Can you imagine how dirty people's feet must have been during Jesus’ time? The only protection a thin layer of leather, the rest of your feet exposed to mud, dust, and grime. Surely there would have been calluses and sores from constant chafing. Fallen arches, bunions, and hammertoes must have been abundant. No spas where you could get a pedicure or podiatrist for your foot ailments. It is understandable why then the most menial servants were assigned this chore.
Yet, Jesus instructs his disciples then and today to wash each other's feet. Christ's message here is not solely about washing feet, but in all things, to be a willing and humble servant. It is a primary tenant of discipleship. Whatever the task, follow Jesus' example by putting service to God before our desires and being obedient to his will. This symbolic act is a reminder to us of the entirety of Christ's ministry.
God, we thank you for your Son Jesus, who by example taught us what it means to be a humble servant. Not only by washing feet but in offering himself on the cross that we might have salvation. Father, fill us with your love for all others. Help us today to be in ministry to the world, obedient to your will, and put the needs of others before ourselves. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.