Maundy Thursday Foot Washing

Blessed (filthy) Feet

On April 18, 2019, my eyes and ears (and feet) were blessed at Underwood Memorial Baptist Church in Wauwatosa for a Maundy Thursday foot washing service. Underwood partnered with ZAO Milwaukee – a United Methodist Church plant describing itself as “Jesus rooted + justice centered + radically inclusive” – and the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee. All three ministers, Rev. Kate Fields, Rev. Jonah Overton, and Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom participated in the service through reflections, serving communion, and washing feet.


Rev. Fields challenged us all to lean into the awkwardness of the service as a form of resistance, embracing the downward mobility that challenges dominant power. Rev. Nordstrom asked us to accept Jesus’ offer to wash our filthy, mucky feet with relish and rest. Rev. Overton reminded us to follow Jesus’ example of taking the lowest and simplest place in the most basic form of service. When we find Christ washing our feet, we feel a sense of humility or even shame. But when we recognize Christ, both in the feet that we wash and in our own hands that do the washing, our whole perspective can be transformed.


It was a humbling yet joyful experience, seeing such a diverse gathering of brothers and sisters both receive and give this simple act of service. There was a spirit of generosity throughout, as all sorts of people took off their shoes and moved forward to participate in the service with quiet smiles and peaceful spirits. I’m grateful for the experience of having my eyes and ears and feet blessed in this Maundy Thursday, further grounding Holy Week in the incarnation, in the most basic forms of obedience and humility.

John Jones

ARM-Education – ABC/WI

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