Wash me3.  Wash me

 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity    –  Psalm 51:2a

I remember as a kid, when I was about 10, going over to the Engel’s home one day to play football in the backyard with my friend Chris and some other guys in the neighborhood.   Their backyard was already a bit muddy — and then it started to rain.   We had a fabulous time throwing, catching, and making tackles that sent us skidding through what was rapidly becoming a lagoon in their back yard.  Then, the game over, I trudged home.   I don’t know if I’ve ever been as dirty as I was that day.   When I stepped into the kitchen from the garage, my mom, standing in the kitchen, put both hands up and said “Hold it!”  She then proceeded to have me shed the mud-caked clothes.   Then wrapped in a towel, she sent me upstairs with directions to have a THOROUGH shower.

Jesus had gathered with his disciples in the upper room.   Then suddenly in an act that took them all by surprise:

. . . 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.  He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”   Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”  Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”  Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” (John 13:5-9)

The disciples had not just come in from an afternoon on the gridiron.  But Jesus saw the dirt that sullied them. Now I sympathize with Peter when he protested against having his feet washed by the Christ.  It was unfathomable that Jesus, the Messiah, would stoop to what was such a menial task.  Plus, maybe Peter’s feet are as ticklish as mine. But then Jesus makes it clear the importance of this act that he was about to undertake — and then Peter asks to be doused from head to toe.

How about you?   Could you use a little hand-sanitizer for your iniquity, or perhaps a wash cloth — or maybe something more?


Dear Lord,

We are all besmirched — dirtied by the trials of this life.  Wash us,  from head to toe, so that we might have a total share of you.