Archive | October, 2016

The Bowl and Towel

27 Oct


It seems like only yesterday I got this bowl and towel.  The bowl is cracked, the towel worn thin; I would have wagered there and then I’d never use these things.

We sat at table with our Lord and talked of happy times.  The meal was done, the hour late; we all began to speculate about what he would say.

But when he stood, he turned and moved toward one end of the room.  With no word said, he turned his back, picked up a bowl and from a rack removed a common towel.

The room was now completely still.  He walked to Peter’s chair, bent low and from a pitcher near poured water cool and crystal clear, then reached for Peter’s foot.

“My Lord, what are you doing?  Please!  It’s I who should be there.  I cannot let you wash my feet; it is not right for you to treat your servant in this way.”

“If you refuse to take my gift, you have no part of me.”  “Oh, Master!  Please!  I cannot live without the hope and love you give.  Wash feet and head and hands!”

From Peter, Jesus moved to all and washed our dirty feet.  He then called each of us by name and one by one to him we came to get a bowl and towel.

My earthen bowl is smooth with age, my towel is frayed and torn.  But these I cherish more than gold for they remind me how he told that we must do the same.

The years have gone, and so has he.  No longer can we share an evening meal, a pleasant song, a desert breeze, his handshake strong.  Just these of him remain.


A reflection on John 13