In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 28 verse 9, this is the first word spoken by Jesus after his resurrection.
Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” and they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.
It sounds like Jesus was a respectable physical distance away from Mary Magdalene and the other disciple, also named Mary. In their joy at seeing him raised from the grave, they crossed the social distance and hugged his feet. Right now, we are carefully avoiding showing our love for others by hugging, even shaking hands. Let us pray God will shorten the days until we can cross the social distance and physically hug again, share the peace with a holy kiss again, gather for the Lord’s Supper again, have coffee together again….
There are many other ways to show our love to Jesus and each other in worship. We have been posting worship videos on our website, YouTube, and Facebook page. This Sunday all of Zion is encouraged to go to the website for Resurrection Lutheran Church Saskatoon and join in their worship service or click on this link – https://www.resurrectionlutheranchurch.ca/19April19WorshipService.mp3
Wouldn’t that be quite a celebration of the victory of the Risen Jesus if we get to know our sisters and brothers in all seven of the Evangelical Lutheran Congregations here in Saskatoon because of the COVID-19 lockdown? Let us pray God will open our hearts to one another and give us the depth of relationship and commitment with our sisters and brothers in our Lutheran Churches that will strengthen our faith in Christ.
Why did they hold his feet?
Why not his hands, as so many of the icons and paintings of the resurrection depict this scene? I don’t know, but I have an insight. Just before our first child was born, I was setting things up in what would be his nursery, praying for the coming delivery, the changes this birth would bring in our relationship as we became a family, asking for guidance, courage, strength, more love, when suddenly I had a vision of Jesus’ feet, right there in the nursery, and a strong urge to get down on my knees and kiss them. I hesitated, struggled with my pride, my rationality, and the moment was passed. Strangely, I was sad at myself, but also reassured: Jesus was with us! His glorified, beautiful resurrection feet! We needed that assurance throughout the tumultuous events of the next weeks leading up to our son’s birth. We may not know why, but somehow worshiping Jesus, holding his feet, comforts us during these tumultuous times too. Let us pray for visions of the feet of the Risen Christ—in the newly born, in the old and frail, in the sick and suffering, the poor and lame, people whose condition gives them painful feet, and even in the feet of the people who share the gospel, and all the people who come running to help people through this pandemic: health care workers, EMT’s, front line responders like fire fighters, police officers, grocery store workers, and especially long term caregivers.
Don’t Be afraid! Go and tell my brothers
Some time later in my life, the Lord gave me another opportunity to worship him by holding his feet. This time I wasn’t embarrassed, wasn’t afraid I was losing my mind, and didn’t hesitate. I had had practice straightening socks on children’s feet, gently guiding slippers onto palsied feet, praying for people whose feet were losing circulation, massaging feet that were constantly sore, cheering for people learning to use their feet again after a stroke, an accident, or an operation, and thanking God for healthy feet to use to serve him in loving my neighbour. Sometimes in those moments I had the chance to tell people about Jesus, but most of the time the deed itself communicated his love more than words ever could. Our Easter season greeting might remind us of that:
Alleluia! Christ is Risen! He is Risen In-deed! Alleluia!
O Lord, open my lips: And my mouth shall declare your praise.
Come quickly O God, to deliver me: Come quickly to help me, O Lord.
Glory to the Father, (+) and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever, world without end. Amen
Collecting our prayers into one:
Let us pray:
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your Resurrection that assures us that you are with us during this tumultuous time in our world. Even if we only see your feet when we meet you in heaven, send your Holy Spirit to guide our feet in the right path, hold your feet by worshiping you in faith and love, and serve you by helping others with humble deeds during this COVID-19 pandemic, for you live and rule with the Father and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen