Barefoot Disciple: Walking the Way of Passionate Humility by Stephen Cherry

By Stephen Cherry

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Extra info for Barefoot Disciple: Walking the Way of Passionate Humility

Example text

This means that it is not an act of humility on the part of the person who is playing that role. Rather, it is a statement about the spiritual power of the action being recalled and the value being placed on such humility. Clergy and lay people need always to remember that liturgical foot-washing is not about the virtue or otherwise of the minister involved. ‘Playing Jesus’ in a service might seem to be a small price to pay for ‘playing God’ for the rest of the time! But there is another point too.

However many pilgrims walk across, the footprints are washed away every time the tide comes in (together with any dawdling pilgrims, I suppose). There is a lesson in this too. Some people like to think that they are walking a new path. Others prefer the assurance that they are following tradition. Both are true when we walk the pilgrim way through life. The way of Jesus is simultaneously the way of the saints and our own special journey. 20 Learning to Walk The plodge across the causeway to Lindisfarne is not the only example of barefoot pilgrimage, even in the British Isles.

Having washed and dried each foot, I did as the priest had indicated was the custom, and kissed it before I shuffled on to the next person. It was a charged and sacred moment, but as I moved about on the floor the name of a person whose funeral I conducted as a curate well over a decade previously came to mind. It was a Mr Shufflebottom (‘Now there’s a great Lancashire name,’ said the funeral director). Today, the ministry pages of the Church of England’s website carry a photograph of the Archbishop of Canterbury washing feet at a Maundy Thursday Eucharist.

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