My daughter sent me a text last night of my grandson. He was sitting in his rocker with his bare feet in a pan, his pants cuff rolled up, grinning from ear-to-ear.
His momma had just washed his feet. A retelling of the Scripture story.
He liked it so much he asked her to wash them again. To tell him the story of Jesus once more.
So she did.
When she finished, he asked if he could wash her feet.
And he attempted to repeat the story he’d just learned: And God loves you soooo much!
He captured the take-away from the Easter story.
God loves us all sooo much.
Which is no small matter, even though we take it for granted too much of the time.
Or at least I know I do.
I don’t know about you but I have been discombobulated this Easter. My Social Media sites are filled today with pictures of crosses and Scriptures quotes about the crucifixion and the coming resurrection.
Sometimes it seems as if we’ve turned Christianity into a meme.
A status update.
Instead of a theology upon which to construct our lives. A theology by which we come to know ourselves and the world around us.
A theology to live by.
One that commands us to love one another, the way God loves us.
I don’t know about you, but in my world everything feels so conflicted.
My three-year-old grandson can grasp that when his momma humbles herself to wash his dirty feet, it’s an act of love that is setting an example for him. He understands that she is doing this to teach him the ways in which Christ wants us to love and honor one another.
Contrast that with our presidential candidates – grown men who both claim to be Christians – hurling ugly slurs against one another and each other’s wives, and you might begin to understand how come I feel so conflicted this Easter weekend. Instead of washing each other’s feet, per the example of Christ, presidential candidates are pointing fingers and yelling across the airwaves at one another: He started it!
Add to that the memes and the status updates and the retweets and pretty soon my Social Media sites are filled with two middle-aged men acting the fool alongside those three wooden crosses and the risen Christ those men supposedly cling to.
Is it any wonder Christianity is losing favor with the people?
Oh, I know some will be tempted to mark such behavior as politics as usual, part of the election year game. Those same people will declare that one or the other of these two men are the only acceptable choice for Christians to support. These men speak from behind pulpits across this nation, seemingly earning the endorsements of leading Christian universities and megachurches.
Neither one of these men is qualified nor dignified enough to lead our nation (or any nation), but that no longer seems to matter to the Evangelicals beating the drum for them.
Winning is the only thing that matters, not what we all end up with once the election is over.
Will it be the man who claims to be a Christian while at the same time claiming he’s never done anything he needs to ask forgiveness for, as he viciously attacks an opponent’s wife for her past struggles with mental illness?
As news outlets report in 2005, Austin, Tex, police encountered a confused woman alongside a highway interchange, and declared the woman a danger to herself. The woman was reportedly not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. She was simply not right in the head at that moment.
And that is how this Easter weekend, the weakness of one human being becomes the stepping stone of another, while thousands and thousands of self-proclaimed Evangelicals cheer on the bigger bully.
It all leaves me wishing for more than a foot bath.
I want to stand beneath the Christ who died and be soaked by his blood.
I want my every pore to be filled with Him.
I want to be transformed by His humility, His grace.
I want a faith that is more than a meme, a tweet, a status update.
I want to live by a theology that says we are to look after one another, to humbly serve one another, to treat one another in tenderness and love, with respect and devotion.
I want a faith that calls for us to not sling mud at each other, but to gently wash the mud from one another’s feet.
I want the faith modeled by my grandson.
Karen Spears Zacharias is author of Burdy (Mercer University Press).