Maundy Thursday

When Jesus wraps a towel around his waist and washes the feet of his disciples he gives us a portrait of the unseen Father, who holds all things together—visible and invisible—as an unassuming, humble servant. 

When we dare to mess around with the invisible structures by which God holds the visible world together—splitting atoms, for instance—we witness the awesome energy generated by the smallest (unwise) manipulation of his handiwork. 

Yet this incalculable energy—even the smallest fraction of it leaves us in awe—is harnessed to an extreme humility. 

What this moment at the last supper reveals, what this washing of feet shows us, is that the power of God has its origin not in what fallen human imagination supposes—not in great demonstrations of might, of subatomic or interstellar power—but in innumerable divine acts of indiscriminate, behind-the-scenes stewardship. 

He literally cares for all things, great and small, from what may even seem useless to us—the things we would throw away—to things of such exquisite beauty we are left without words. 

God is the great janitor, kneeling on the floor of the universe, towel in hand, ready to do the menial work that holds all things together, the work of a love that does not seek attention, does not boast, is not rude or jealous, that keeps no record of wrongs, that does not fail—the measure of the love with which Jesus loved us and with which he commands us to love each other.