Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

I am on John 13 now in my "sometimes painful journey through John." I have thought a lot about verses 1-9; read them over and over in more or less a "lectio divina" fashion. I've paid some attention to the rest of the chapter but this one keeps grabbing me...

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. 6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” 9Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”

I have mentioned many times in this blog that one of the two characters in the Gospels I most identify with is good ol' Simon Peter. I sometimes wonder if we share some extra DNA--he's this great mix of impulsive and unflinchingly loyal. His foibles are so common to mine. Like me, he has his "Oh, shit, now what have I done?" moments. I soooo identify with him when he does the "deny Christ thrice" thing because I, too, have found myself caving into fear and having that really square off against that notion of myself as a "brave" person.

In this case, I would joke that this passage is "Peter n' me have issues about Maundy Thursday." I sooooo hide from "foot washing." Mostly because I have funny looking feet--huge high arches, narrow heel, fat forefoot, skinny small toes. But when Jesus sticks it to him that if he doesn't submit, Peter will "have no share with him," Peter's loyalty to Jesus wins out, and he basically goes, "Hey, then, okay, wash me all over!" I can almost imagine Peter (or me) just stripping down to the undies and doing the exhibitionist dance.

That is pretty much a parable of my ability to resist. One of my friends of three decades once told me that one of my best (and worst) qualities is that I am so "all or nothin'." (Cue the soundtrack from Oklahoma.) I can resist with a level of resistance that is astounding. But when I finally give up my resistance, it literally is "peel off my clothes and dive right in."

I imagine both Peter and I have a tendency to yell "Cannonball!" when we dive in also, and forget that when we do the cannonball, we get everyone else wet, and get them mad we messed up their hair and stuff. That is a problem. Then we are doing the "Oops, oh shit, I didn't mean to do that," thing again. We both probably irritate others b/c we do get a little self-absorbed in our own exuberance.

Nevertheless, I need to still strive for that exuberant feeling of "Okay, then, wash all of me!"


Caught your comment on Lizbeth's blog. Thanks for understanding. I am grateful that there is this much understanding in northern MO. It is interesting that in small towns in all kinds of places, people are getting it and perhaps it is going to good to be able to stay in our small towns and not have to go to the city just to live a life coupled differently but in sanctity



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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