Jesus washed Judas’s feet

MaundyMost of us had the same morning on Tuesday. We got up and at some point we turned on the news, checked social media, or listened to the radio. It wasn’t long before we found out about the attack in Brussels. Another bombing. Another day that we woke up to tragedy. The news progressed in the same fashion that it does when covering these kinds of stories. They interviewed experts, reviewed the actual events, speculated as to the cause, and got reactions from the various politicians and candidates. Some of the reactions condemned those who committed the act and many offered up condolences, thoughts, and prayers for victims and their families.

After some time in shock and disbelief, I got ready for my day, ate my breakfast, made my coffee, packed my things and left for work. This is probably where my day differed from yours. I turned on my car, and started of the CD that is currently living in my car’s CD player. Brother by The Brilliance began to play.

When I look into the face
Of my enemy
I see my brother
I see my brother

Forgiveness is the garment
Of our courage
The power to make the peace
We long to know
Open up our eyes
To see the wounds that bind
All of humankind
May our shutter hearts
Greet the dawn of life
With charity and love

That’s when it hit me. We pray for those hurt and the families of those killed by these attacks. And we should. They deserve our prayers and need the presence the one that Paul calls, “our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.” We pray for Brussels, we pray for the victims and their families, but do we pray for the attackers?

I know that’s hard to even imagine that we would do such a thing, but as I drove to work and listen to the Brilliance say over and over that my enemy is my brother I was reminded of the words of Christ.

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.”[1]

“Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!”[2]

Pray for those who hurt you. Pray for those who persecute you.

Today is Maundy Thursday. It’s the day that we remember the Last Supper where Jesus celebrated Passover with his disciples, instituted the Lord’s Supper, and washed his disciples feet. It’s named Maundy Thursday because of the new mandate that Jesus gave his disciples in John 13:34, “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”[3]

The words of Jesus that rang in my head on Tuesday feel so appropriate for today. Today is the day, not only that Jesus commanded us to Love, but today is the day that he washed Judas’s feet. At the beginning of John 13, Jesus washes his disciples feet. It’s only after washing the feet of his disciples that he acknowledges what Judas is about to do. Jesus not only lowers himself to the position of a servant, but he washes the feet of the man he knows is about to hand him over to be killed.

Jesus not only told us to love our enemies, he loved his.

So this weekend as I remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, I choose to pray for my enemies. I will continue pray for those who were attacked in Brussels, for those families that will never be the same because they lost someone in the bombings. But I will also pray for those who are my enemies. For those who set off bombs and plot against the world. I pray that they would come to know the love of Jesus and repent these terrible acts. I pray that if they ever meet a follower of Jesus that they will see the love of Christ through that person. I choose today to see my enemy as my brother and to wash the feet of those set out to betray me.

O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.[4]

[1] Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013), Lk 6:27.
[2] Mt 5:43–44.
[3] Jn 13:34.
[4] The Episcopal Church, The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church (New York: Church Publishing Incorporated, 2007), 816.

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