The following was used in a Maundy Thursday foot washing service, Circle of Mercy Congregation,
focused around the John 13 text of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet,
Long before the people of the Promise migrated to Egypt, long before their cries to heaven roused the ears of the Almighty, long before Moses led them on their freedom march to the promised land, the Lord God appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. As he did, three visitors suddenly appeared, and Abraham ran to meet them and bowed to the ground.
In the same way, Yahweh appeared in a vision to Isaiah, in the land of Judah, and said, Declare this to my people: “Wash yourselves. Make yourselves clean!”
Back in Mamre, Abraham said to the heavenly visitors: “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant.”
And in Isaiah’s vision, God continued: “And in the washing, cease to do evil, learn to do good. Seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.”
Then Abraham, ‘neath the ancient oaks, said to the guests: “Let a little water be brought to wash your feet; and a little bread that you may eat and be refreshed.”
“Behold,” say the ancients, “in your washing and your eating, in your seeking justice and pursuing peace, you shall be called the city of righteousness, a faithful nation.”
“If you know these things,” said Jesus, “you are blessed if you do them.”
For as it is written, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring good tidings, who prophesy peace and publish salvation, who says to the nations, ‘Your God reigns!’”
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©ken sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org
Adapted from Genesis 18:1-5, Isaiah 1:16-17; John 13:17; Isaiah 52:7.