Thursday, April 05, 2007

Soup, a Foot-Wash and a Meal

I'm hooked on numbers. I get jazzed when I see our average attendance grow each year. I am encouraged when giving goes up. I like seeing more people coming to Bible studies and youth groups. So when we planned a maundy Thursday soup supper, foot washing and communion service, I was expecting growth, at least 100. So we planned for 80, hoping to pull out more tables for the additional 20. The committee decorated the gym and wonderful soup and bread was set out. By the time we sat down after 6 pm, there were just about 35 of us.
Then God smacked me right where it hurt, it the pride-socket. I looked at this intimate group of friends and strangers, spanning in age from 13-93. They were laughing and relxed, thoroughly delighted that they could enjoy a good meal and conversation.

After a lingering meal, we prepared for foot-washing; a men's bench, women's bench and a family bench where couples and families could wash each other's feet. This was a moving time. I let our college intern Kevin wash my feet, hand dry them and bless me. And I watched him wash otehr men's feet in the same tender way. Across the way women were washing each other's feet and down at the end, couples were kneeling at each other's feet, washing them with love.
By the time we were all done and ready for communion, there was little I could say that had not been said with water, hands and towels.
At communion, we poured dixie cups for each other and broke matzo crackers and gave them to each other. Slowly pitchers went around the table, pour and blessing each other. When it was over and all had been washed and fed, I opened up for a time of witness. Again the words from each other to each other were tender and poignant. All I could say was "Amen."


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