Okay, before I forget to comment, I hope that last week, you had a very Happy Thanksgiving!
We had the blessing of being able to spend a chunk of quality time with our extended family this past week, though Megan and I both caught colds at the end of the week that curtailed that a bit (and our recently-purchased van caught a cold as well -- ask me about that sometime). But we all have so much to be thankful for that it’s hard to dwell on the hiccups in life. Every day, we’re reminded of a hundred new frustrations and a thousand new blessings -- and if left to our darker natures, we can far too often focus so much on the world’s small former that we consistently miss the Lord’s grand latter (at least, it’s easy to do that if you’re like me).
So if you didn’t get the opportunity to do it last week, then make sure to give thanks to God today.
And if you did get the opportunity to do it last week, then make sure to give thanks to God today.
It’s kind of a nice habit to get into.
As part of being thankful to God -- not only for what He’s given to us or done for us, but moreso for who He is to us and the amazing love that He’s consistently modeled for us -- we did something fairly special in our Sunday morning service this week. We had a foot-washing service.
Having said that, let me back up.
On the night before He went to the cross, Jesus spent quality time with His own mini-family, His disciples. They ate together, He expressed His heart for them, He tried to pray with them, and He gave them a tangible example of how much He loved them by washing their feet.
In an era of dusty roads and sandaled feet, the importance of washing people’s feet when they came into your house can’t be overestimated -- it was a genuine need. But in an era of roads covered with more than just dust making sandaled feet more than just dusty, the lack of desire to actually get down there and wash other people’s feet can’t be overestimated, either -- which is why it became the lowest job for the lowest servant to do.
John makes it clear that because Jesus knew that God had put “all things under His power” (John 13:3), that’s why He chose to kneel down and wash the disciples’ feet like the lowest servant. He probably didn’t want to do that any more than any servant wants to do it (or any more than He wanted to go to the cross the next day), but it was a tangible, genuine need that they had, and He wanted to clearly demonstrate the honest willingness to actively, even proactively meet their needs.
So that’s what we did on Sunday. We didn’t use a basin or towels, since we don’t live in a world of dusty roads and sandaled feet (so if we’d just physically washed one another’s feet, it would’ve just been a religious ritual, an affectation, instead of what Jesus was actually doing that evening). Instead, we prayed, then went to one another and asked if there were tangible, genuine needs that people had -- then offered to minister by helping with those needs. Is there something that needs to be done that you really don’t want to do? How can I do that with you? Or even, how can I do that for you?
It’s amazing what God does in people’s hearts when a brother or sister kneels in front of them and says, “Please let me do this for you. I may not want to do the action, but I want to minister to you, and that’s what’s important because you’re what’s important.”
How can you -- however old you are, in whatever context your find yourself -- how can you go to a brother or sister and say, “Christ is my example, so I want to follow what He modeled. How can I serve you as an act of worship to Him?”