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Holy Week Reflections: Unsettling and Disruptive

Thursday April 1

The Rev Roddy Hamilton reflects on a saviour who identifies as a servant

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” (John 13:6-8)


The Exodus story, which is the background to this day of Maundy Thursday, reminds us not of a well prepared event, but a rushed affair. Salvation done on the hoof. Coats on, feet at the ready, an escape at hand. There is nothing lovely about it.

In that conflict, we find ourselves washing feet and sharing at table. The story describes the place where heaven and earth meet, and it is a challenge. The disciples don’t want feet washing, especially Peter. “But it must be thus, or you have no part of me”, says Jesus. Tonight the sacraments are not places of peace, but a wrangle between earth and heaven, a challenge to the world and to us: as unsettling and disruptive as a saviour identifying as a servant can only be.



Holy God,
May we pause in this moment
Just as we are,
Confused by a saviour
Who wishes to disrupt our understanding,
And our hope,
And dare ourselves to trust
The discomfort of our souls,
The challenge of this act,
Of feet-washing and bread-breaking,
And the way love is disordering the world.

The Rev Roddy Hamilton is minister of New Kirkpatrick Parish Church, Bearsden. His series of reflections continues tomorrow, and each day of Holy Week

Palm Sunday: Did Anyone Know?
Monday: Beyond Earthly Things
Tuesday: Jesus is From Everywhere
Wednesday: 'One of You Will Betray Me'

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