“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14, ESV).
Many people have taken the above verse quite literally, and that’s OK. It’s a beautiful symbol of servanthood. But in today’s world, thanks to paved roads and closed toe shoes there isn’t much need to wash your guest’s feet as they enter your home. (Although, I think I would make it a point to visit friends even more so if they gave me mini pedicures every time I stopped by to chat.)
In biblical times, walking dirt roads in sandals made it a necessity to wash the feet of guests. I believe that the Bible is God-breathed and absolutely relevant to our lives today. I am not saying that we should ignore this command given by Jesus just because society has evolved. Rather, I think it is important that we have a relevant understanding of what it looks like to wash one another’s feet in the 21st century.
We may not be treading dusty roads to get to work or visit family and friends, but we do walk through some perilous times in life that may cause spiritual buildup. It is important that as we enter into the home of a friend or a house of worship, we take a moment to remove the dust of the day and settle into relationships to be found there. Rather than physically washing feet, we can help clear away the burdens that life often throws at us by uplifting one another.
One way to do this is to remind each other of biblical promises in times of trial and stand together in belief that those promises will come to pass. Let’s never forget that we are called to humbly serve one another in this way.
To learn more about the fierce role you were created to fulfill, check Lisa Bevere’s book Lioness Arising.