Last night on Holy Thursday, we Christians commemorated the institution of the Eucharist, where Christ gave wholly of himself. An extremely important event took place that night when he also took on the role of a slave and washed the feet of those present. He told them, “Do you know what I have done to you? If I, as your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should also do to others.” Do we really get that?
Today, on Good Friday, we commemorate Jesus’ death by crucifixion. Jesus – the Incarnate Word – the ultimate non-violent one. Do we really get that?
Top image: “Jesus Washing Peter’s Feet” by Sieger Hoder
Bottom Image: “Crucifixion” by Georges Rouault, 1937
Palm Sunday Meditation:
Jesus entered Jerusalem on a beast of burden, not on a chariot drawn by powerful steeds.
Jesus preached love, acceptance, and inclusivity; not hate, exclusion, and violence. Consider this from The Beatitudes: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
At the Last Supper, Jesus acted as a servant, washing the feet of those in attendance, commissioning them to do the same for others. He did not commission them to go out to do violence toward or kill their enemies.
Consider how Jesus and his disciples evangelized: They traveled from town to town, preaching a message of love and urging his new followers to support each other, share their resources with each other, and be kind to each other. They did not do it with the sword or any other form of violent coercion on the backs of the powerless as has been done over the centuries to convert the “pagans” or “heathens” while colonizing them.
So, I just wonder how Christianity would look today if it had never become the official religion of Roman Empire in the 4th Century, an edict in which Jesus’ message and movement of love and peace (which embraced the marginalized of society) formally converged with the Empire’s trappings of power and dominance?
Note to readers: Although I write this from a Christian perspective, it is my hope that its message will resonate with peace-loving people of all religious traditions and spiritualities.