Thursday, April 21, 2011

Won't You Let Me Be Your Servant?

It is Holy Week.  We are thinking of the last days of Jesus life before his capture and crucifixion.  Maundy Thursday marks the day Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples.  After his 3 year ministry, travelling and eating with these guys, this was to be his last meal with them.  He knew this.  He had this one last night to teach them what he thought was most important.

One of the things Jesus did that night seems kind of weird to us in this day and age.  He washed his disciples feet.  These guys walked around a lot in hot weather, probably wearing sandals.  I really can't think that was a very pleasant job.  In fact, it probably put Jesus into a position of kneeling before them, a submissive position. 

I think I've heard this story all my life but for some reason, this year, it is really meaningful to me.  Again, what a demonstration of humility he gave us!  What a lesson in what it means to serve others!  I happen to know that in one of the songs we will be singing tonight at church we will be saying, "Won't you let me be your servant, too?"  I want to really mean it when I sing it, but I don't really like the idea of being a servant.  Sure, I don't mind so much serving my family, but serving people with dirty feet?  EEEW!

I don't think I yet have a servant's heart.  Our society doesn't really promote such an attitude.  I'm going to try, though, to think more in terms of being a servant to others... less of me, more of others.  It is so much easier to say than to do.

Tonight, my husband is going to demonstrate Jesus' servant attitude by washing someone's feet.  He's going to wash my feet... in front of everyone!  I am kind of nervous about it but I agreed because I think this is such an important lesson Jesus was trying to teach his disciples... and us.

So, I am going to challenge you now.  First, read John 13:1-15.  Then, I want you to try to think of at least one way to be a servant to someone today.  Consider having it be something quiet, something that does not bring honor to yourself.  Then, try to do it again tomorrow, and then the next day.  I want to consciously do it each day until at some point it just becomes a way of life, something I don't have to think about.

"For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you."  John 13:15 NRSV


Maria Rose said...

Well, don't be nervous, you have lovely feet!

Kate Ware said...

We have done foot washings at our church now for several years. And I have to say that my stint as a foot washer was one of the most humbling yet amazing things I've ever done. I have more of a problem with people washing my feet! LOL! I don't think I have a servant's heart, yet, but in this case it was much easier for me to serve than be served.

Pam Brewer said...

When I worked in the hospital one of my favorite nurse jobs was to wash patient's feet because I always felt like it was holy work. I would soak their feet in a basin and then spend extra time massaging with lotin after washing.

Susan S said...

You might be right about this, Kate.

Susan S said...

Pam, I think you have a great servant's heart. I agree with you... holy work.

AKM said...

Lovely post. I love to serve but I know there is always more to be done, and to be done with a joyful spirit as well. Thank you for the reminder.

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