Washing And Stripping The World

Washing And Stripping The World

I had my feet washed on Maundy Thursday evening - in church. Jesus washed the tired and dusty feet of his closest friends the day before he was killed. As my feet were washed I prayed that Jesus would wash the feet of all Followers of the CAH Way in Africa, America, Asia, Australia, Ireland, Norway and UK.

This foot-washing was a symbolic act of service. The Teaching that followed Jesus' death made clear that He wants to wash not only our feet, but all of us, inside and out. He wants to wash the whole world.

At the close of the service, as the choir sang penitential psalms and the lights dimmed, servers stripped bare everything on, above and before the altar.  For many Christians the altar is the precious focus of the life-giving outpouring presence of Christ in Sacrament and Word.  Now, until the resurrection of Easter Sunday, He is absent from us. We follow in his footsteps into, during and after death. As we pondered in the darkened side chapel to watch and pray I thought 'See what the world is doing to Jesus now. Today's crucifiers are .... and the social media.'

A few hours earlier I talked with a Voyager in the Community of Aidan and Hilda about the end of our earthly journey - our voyage into The Great Passage as Orthodox Christians call it.

We may forget the God-lit parts of our path, and recall only darkness, confusion or regret.  I am a bad boy. Voyagers are supposed to send in their annual review of their application of our Way of Life to a guardian by Easter.  But I am blind, I cannot see. So my task is to make an application that works for the final faltering steps.  But today I have lighted upon words from the universal church's most ancient liturgy that I hope to repeat at the end of my earthly journey:


Rank on rank the host of heaven

Spreads its vanguard on the way.

As the Light of light descendeth

From the realms of endless day,

That the powers of hell may vanish

As the darkness clears away

(From the Liturgy of St. James trans. by Gerald Moultrie).


Posted at 20:54pm on 28th March 2024
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