The timing is right for sharing this Maundy Thursday experience from a few years ago, because I received an angry, threatening tweet from a reader of one of my LGBTQ+ affirming HuffPost pieces this morning. It was a good reminder of the stance I need to take.
Last night's Holy Thursday service was a gorgeous mix of joy and sorrow. We celebrated the institution of the Eucharist and the new priesthood. We washed feet and were washed. We watched the stripping of the altar. And then we mimicked the slow plod to Gethsemane.
We began in light, and ended in darkness. We closed by pretending our willingness to stay with him in that garden, singing the Taizé piece "Stay with me".
As usual, I wept during the foot washing, my unworthiness to be touched by Him profoundly evident, acknowledging the pride that is my most grievous crime.
After the service I thought about a Facebook discussion I'd had earlier in the day with evangelical Christians who preach fire and brimstone for those who support same sex marriage. I thought about what Jesus did at that supper, and the model of love that He offered to us through it.
He knew that He was about to be betrayed, and by whom. He looked Judas in the eye and in the heart, and dipped His hand with Judas into the bowl. But He did more than just that.
He washed His betrayer's feet. He acted as servant and lover for one who He knew to be so horribly in the wrong.
It made me think.
What a beautiful thing it would be if those who preach judgement and condemnation of same sex relationships would instead get down on their knees publicly, as Jesus did, and say "Let me humble myself. Let me be a servant to you."
And wouldn't it be an even more wonderful thing if I were to humble myself to those people in that way?
Please Lord, help me to be a washer of feet rather than a wielder of condemnation.