Sunday, October 06, 2013

Reports from the body of Christ: a Footwashing

Once in the year, the body of Christ at Sandy Valley meets for communion and footwashing. It is a high and holy day for the body, and one that arouses curiosity outside the body. As usual the service was preceded by the hymn singing for about an hour. The order of service was then changed with a long concert of prayer, followed by a more rousing than usual sermon by Reverend Peacock. Following Peacock's sermon, Elder Hasselben from Possum Creek spoke on the bread and wine, which was then duly served to the body. Next Elder Poden Tate spoke on the footwashing as the deacon's brought buckets of water for the footwashing pans from the pristine Sandy Branch.

The body of Christ at Sandy Valley had no less of human nature than any other. None wanted to add embarrassment to their humility as they bared their weary and worn feet to all around. The day before the rite preparations were made -- feet were washed, toenails were carefully trimmed, toejam deposits were removed and the best socks (without holes or with as few as possible) were chosen. At least for those who could help it. Sandy Valley teens also had no less of human nature, and that included pulling pranks that would doubtless later occasion a trip to the wood shed.

Before turning in for the night, Deacon Hod Dobbs prepared for the footwashing the next day. He laid out the clothes he would wear, including a nice pair of dark socks. Sure that he was asleep by the sound of his snoring, several grandchildren took those socks. Turning them inside out, they artfully rubbed them with soot from the fireplace. They then turned the socks right side out and placed them back in their place as if nothing had happened. And the old Deacon suspected nothing had happened. His brisk walk to the meeting house did its dirty work and set Deacon Dobbs up for his fall. Right there before God and everybody in the house, he exposed the fact that he really needed a thorough footwashing!

Following Deacon Dobb's footwashing, the water in the pan was no longer pristine and from that day forward he no longer wore socks to the annual communion and footwashing. 

[The grandchildren confessed and took their whooping. Unbeknownst to them, the old man interceded with his son to give them a light licking.]

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