Washing Before the Meal

Read John 13.1-17

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” (John 13.14)

“Your most precious memories will focus on those you loved, those who loved you, and what you did together in the service of the Lord.” — James Dobson

 Jesus, fully God, shows us what it looks like to be fully human. It is through humble service that we become our best selves. Jesus shows us that to do what is most pleasing to God, we are to serve each other. Becoming servants, slaves, we rise above ourselves and join God at work in the world.  

The disciples are silenced when Jesus washing their feet. They are filled with shame and astonishment. Somebody else should have thought of this, not Jesus. He has the weight of the world on his back, he should not have to worry about keeping our feet clean. But no one else did. No one else thought of it. No one else is willing to do the dirty work to prepare for the feast.

On a youth mission trip to Philadelphia, we had the opportunity to go into the streets one night and distribute care kits to homeless persons. Toiletries, lotions, gloves, socks, and the like. Several of the teens were reluctant at first, not only concerned for their safety, but unsure how they would be received.  What if these gifts were rejected? What if instead the people insisted on money for other purposes?

As the night went on, these fears subsided. Nearly all the folks we met were gracious and grateful. Even more than the items delivered, they seemed to appreciate the visit, the human contact from youth willing to step over social boundaries and treat them with respect.

One gentleman was particularly grateful. When given a pair of socks, he looked up with tears in his eyes. “Thank you so much. Tomorrow I go to the doctor to have part of my foot cut off and I didn’t want to go without socks. You are an answer to prayer.”

Is it easier for you to serve or be served? Why?

In what ways can you serve others as Christ has served you?

Jesus, send your Spirit into our hearts that we may accept your serving love and be motivated to serve others.

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