This is a reminder of the problem of ceremony is that it mostly applies to the flesh.
In the Church of Christ we do not wash feet. Why is this the case when Jesus washed feet? I was noticing when looking at the Mennonite website that foot-washing is an article of faith to them just as baptism and the Lord’s supper is. In the Church of Christ, are we leaving something out or are we doing the very thing Christ told us to do?
The problem with making foot-washing an article of faith is that it misses the point of Jesus washing feet. If foot-washing was not needed and provided the way to be of service to others, Jesus would not have washed feet. Jesus was not into ceremony. Jesus did not make foot washing a ceremonial act just as the Pharisees should not have made hand washing a ceremonial act. Jesus washed feet and called for his disciples to do likewise to illustrate the importance of service. Jesus emphasized the importance of humility and called for his disciples to be humble. To take what Jesus did and make it ceremony, is to make His service and humility just ceremony. This is pharisaic and legalistic and why the Church of Christ does not wash feet.
So in the Church of Christ what do we do that is like Jesus? In the Church of Christ we serve where there are needs and we do it with humility. We help people who cannot help themselves. We serve.
In tonight’s class, I further elaborated on this point. It’s not just foot washing or human traditions that become ceremonial. Even things God has commanded like Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and practically anything that’s related to Christian living, can become mere ceremony. Just lose faith. Just do it out of obligation. Just do it for show. Just start coasting. Just become lukewarm. When the spirit is absent from worship, you just have people going through the motions. Anything commanded or anything made up can become ceremony, meaningless ceremony. So keep praying. Keep fervent in spirit. Trust in God. Keep faith and hope.