Family Foot-Washing (a fun and meaningful tradition)


A couple of years ago we celebrated Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter when Jesus famously washed His disciples' feet) with a foot-washing ceremony of our own. It was a simple ceremony that we did around the kitchen table. I provided some warm soapy water, a bucket, a washcloth and several towels and we went in order from oldest to youngest - each person washing the feet of the family member next in line. As we held each other's feet we repeated the following phrase: I love you and I want to serve you.

Before we began we opened the Bible and read John 13:1-17. After a brief discussion about what it means to lead and love by serving others we starting washing. (All three kids couldn't wait to get their feet in the water!)

My middle child loves this tradition and requests it often. We mostly do this on Maundy Thursday but it has also proven to be a great "reset" activity when there is a lot of bickering going on between the kids. I realize foot-washing is more of an analogy for how we are to selflessly serve one another, but there is something special - holy even- about literally holding the feet of your loved one and cleaning between their toes and saying "I love you and I want to serve you."

John 13:14-17

If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

For more meaningful holiday traditions click here

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