So many memorable things happen over a meal. Gather some friends and relax into the evening and who knows where the conversation might take you.

Who knows.

The teacher might even surprise everyone by taking off his coat and rolling up his sleeves and washing everybody’s dirty feet. And wouldn’t we all wonder at that. And if he did that humble job, and then served out the meal with words that made his friends scratch their heads, well, you’d have the last meal Jesus spent with his disciples. You’d have fellowship and service and gutted honesty and uncertainty about the future.

This is Jesus in the flesh. This is Jesus with his friends, and even his enemies. This is Jesus, teaching by example even as danger looms.

He finishes the meal. There’s Gethsemane and betrayal and the cross ahead, but he finishes the meal with his friends, and he asks them to follow the example he showed them that evening. He asks them to love each other.

It’s Maundy Thursday and some people publicly honour that request in different ways. The Queen of England hands out little pouches filled with coins. The Pope washes the feet of elderly and disabled people in Rome.

But if you’re not the queen or the pope, and the people around you don’t want to take off their socks and shoes for you, what do you do?

I guess you sit at the table with him for a while first. You sit in fellowship and you marvel at his teaching and his incredible example of selfless service and you let it all sink deep into your soul, the fellowship and service and gutted honesty and even the uncertainty about the future.

Then you push away from the table with your clean feet and your sweet memories, and you do your best to walk in that grace.