Descending in order to rise

This is my favorite depiction (by Ford Madox Brown) of Jesus washing his disciples' feet. Jesus takes the role of a slave to serve his reluctant, denying, betraying, uncomprehending disciples. An example for us as we struggle with social position, entitlement and inflated egos.

I love Peter's expression. His rage and sense of the wrongness at the action is palpable. He holds his hands less in prayer than in an attempt to stop himself from pushing Jesus away, returning to his "proper" role as revered master. Yet here, Jesus takes his street theater to the highest level, piercing the veil of expectation to the greater reality beyond.
Though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:6-8)

As I meditate on this simple yet profound event, commemorated on Holy Thursday, I reflect on all the ways that I hold onto my sense of superiority and desire to enjoy the deference bestowed on income, education, race, ethnicity, verbosity, gender and age. I have made progress, but have a ways to go before I would strip down, lower myself and wash everyone's feet.

Lord, I believe. Help this proud and reluctant disciple to live down to your level!