A basin and a towel.

Todays Scripture: John 13:1 – 17

On this Mandy Thursday (western calendar) I find it fitting to post a quote from a very good Christian musician and song writer, Michael Card. He has a way to describe the mystery of this evening that really makes it “come alive”. This is his song, “The basin and the towel”.

Verse 1.

“In a upstaris room, a parable, is just about to come alive. And while they argue about who is best. With a painful glance, He will silently rise. Their Saviour and Servant must show them how by the will of the water and the tenderness of the towel.


And the call is to community, the impoverished power that sets the soul free. In humility to take the vow that day after dat we must take up the basin and the towel.

Verse 2.

In any ordinary place, on any ordinary day. A parable can live again, when one will kneel and one will yield. Our Saviour servant must show us how by the will of the water and the tenderness of the towel.

And the space between ourselves sometimes, is more than the distance between the stars. By the fragile bridge of the servants bow, we take up the basin and the towel.”

This mystery of the King of all Who picks up the duty of the lowest servant. The washing of feet. This is the way to heal the world. This is how faith becomes incarnated. It does not matter how well I argue about faith or works (wanting to sit next to Christ) or how “well I know the Scriptures”. This will not touch people’s hearts. But if I wash their feet, if I serve them instead of arguing with them, it will touch them. It boils down to if we are willing to follow Christs example. Are you willing to get down on your knee wash your neighbours feet? Christianity is about incarnation. It is about the infleshment of what we have learned. It is about faith being implemented in works. It is about works being awakened by faith. It is about the infleshment of the divine into the human, about given the world “its soul or life back”. It is about wholeness. The healing of a world that has been divided, broken and dismembered. And this is why the Christian road is narrow. Very few people (I among them) are willing to actually do what we say that we believe. To incarnate our faith. We think that as long as we wash our own feet we have done our duty. And Christianity is Christianity just because it takes the calling beyond your self or your own. Realizing that we fall short of our calling (the law…) is a first step, but never let that become an excuse for not actually serving, in a practical way, your family, neighbour and community. God Himself was incarnated for our sakes. He did not deny healing and salvation for the world. He is prepared to wash our sins away by humbleness. We, as a part of His very body, His incarnation should than not deny the world the incarnation of our faith and hope?

How do you incarnate (making real) your faith in Christ? Please share your stories and thoughts.

In Christ,

Fr. Jakob


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