Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into His hands, that He had come from God, and that He was going back to God. So He got up from supper, laid aside His robe, took a towel, and tied it around Himself. Next, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around Him. – John 13:3-5
I am continuing to ponder the idea of doing “small things” right.
Jesus had a full realization of His authority, His origin and identity, and His destiny. He knew He was God Incarnate, so He washed the feet of His disciples. It sounds strange to us who are always concerned about appearances and status and decorum. Yet, to God, the act naturally follows the understanding. Who but God Incarnate, as Oswald Chambers said somewhere, can properly wash feet? Who but God Incarnate can do the most menial task with perfect awareness, love, and grace?
Anybody can do the grand and showy right. Man can create spectacles. In fact, the more corrupted and fallen we are, the better we seem to be at glorifying self.
But to do the menial mindfully and perfectly, we must have the mind of Christ, the attitude of Christ Jesus who did not exalt Himself – though He had every right to do so. To harmonize with the Spirit, we must be present in the task at hand. Perhaps this tells us something about the difference between art that is beautiful and transcendent, and that which may be called art but fails to transport. The transcendent artist is present in every stroke of the brush, every letter, every hammer fall, movement, or note – conscious only of the here and now – because art done right consists mostly of many small, discrete, unnoticed things brought together by spirit and vision.
Only fallen man can think of something like footwashing as humiliating, demanding, or a sacrifice. When we are caught up in love, the beloved cannot demand too much of us. There is no such thing as sacrifice.