Does this characterize us as Christians, today? Would “foot washers” describe us, as Christians? Or is it a totally alien description of the modern Christian? Something so removed from the reality of how we live our lives?
So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was seated again, he said unto them, Know you what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord: and you say rightly; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If you know these things, happy are you if you do them. John 13:12-17
Jesus doesn’t mean for us to perform a public stunt, and take a bowl and start washing feet in front of everyone. Jesus wasn’t performing a stunt. Their feet were dirty. Sandals are not as efficient as shoes and socks at keeping feet clean. There was no running water, also. This made water precious. There was no tap they could go over to and quickly wash off their feet. It was much more practical to have one bowl of water and someone go around and get the job done at one time.
So, washing feet today means truly serving our brethren, and serving in subservient ways : that is, without a stunt or a public show (which would disqualify us from any eternal reward). It means that we are ready and willing to help in the basest tasks and at the most inconvenient times : on call, as a servant.