When I think about what the Lord’s Supper means to me, one in particular comes to mind. Many years ago, I worked at a Christian summer camp as a counselor. The week before the kids arrived, we worked diligently to prepare the camp for the entire summer.
This particular summer, we finished early, so our director told us we could take Friday off to relax, go swimming, etc. We just needed to be back in time for the Agape Feast and Lord’s Supper that evening. I went with a handful of friends to try our hand at rafting down a river nearby. We had a great time, even though I was thrown overboard and had to be rescued.
Our trip did take a little longer than we’d planned, however, and we arrived at camp just in time for the Agape Feast. We had no time to shower or change clothes. The candlelit Agape Feast was lovely, and there was a closeness among all present. Unfortunately, all I could think about was my dirty feet! I had been dragged through some mild rapids behind a raft and had then hiked a dusty trail in soaked sneakers. The outside of my shoes was covered with mud; I could only imagine how my feet looked. And soon, someone was going to wash them!
After the Supper, a friend of mine and I chose to wash each other’s feet. Even though she was my friend and had been with me all day on the rafting trip, I still had a really hard time letting her wash my dirty feet. As I watched her hands wash off the mud and saw the water turn brown, I shuddered. For the first time, I began to understand how the disciples must have felt to see their Lord and Master wash their dirty feet. For the first time, I felt truly humbled as a result of this special ordinance.
I had been taught that the ordinance of humility is for us to humble ourselves by washing another’s feet. In this day when we sometimes bathe more than once a day and always take extra care to have nice, clean feet for the Lord’s Supper, it’s actually not very humbling to wash someone’s already clean feet. But imagine yours are not clean. Imagine that the King of Kings is stooping down to wash them. Let your Lord and Savior wash away any pride you may harbor, and find new meaning in the ordinance of humility.
Dana Jensen is assistant editor of children’s curriculum for the Bible Advocate Press. She and her husband, Richard, live in Westminster, CO.