My Worship class had a Paschal Retreat on Friday. We celebrated Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil, all in a day. My classmates who aren't in Worship keep asking how it was. The first thing that keeps coming out is, "It was jarring. We plunked Holy Week into the middle of Advent!"
My favorite part of our Holy Week on Friday was the foot washing on Maundy Thursday. The act of foot washing has always been a part of my faith life, since we do it every Easter season at my home congregation and every staff training at the camp I used to work at.
I'll admit, I was a little nervous for this foot washing, perhaps because some of my male classmates announced that they had an affinity towards feet, and I had serious doubts over whether or not they would do something weird in service. Fortunately, they restrained their desires to disrupt the flow of worship. Even more enjoyable, aside from relatively well-behaved classmates, was seeing these peoples wash each others' feet. It was similar to seeing the laying on of hands earlier in the semester.
We are in a very hard point in the semester, perhaps the hardest. I have two 10-15 page papers to write, a Greek final, a Pentateuch final, readings for Worship and Church History, in addition to finalizing my CPE application and everything else I've managed to save up for myself...all by Thursday afternoon. To see the hands of my classmates holding the feet of one another, purifying the dirty feet, was moving. I want to cleanse the frustrations and anxiety from my friends, just as they cleanse mine. I want to hold their feet, and not in a creepy affectionate way, but to honor them and the hard work that they have put in all semester.
Thank you for the friendships we have spent the semester forming. Remind us that the road ahead is rough, but we walk alongside one another, ready to hold one another in our arms and hearts.