Sunday, January 8, 2017

How True Happiness in Found in Service

John 13:12-17 (NLT): What Makes us Truly Happy?
After washing their feet, [Jesus] put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am.  And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.  I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message.  Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.
Our joy is in imitating the Jesus in this world. It really is that simple. By imitating Christ in all the little places of our day, we bring His presence to others. It is what, as Christians, we are created to do --- imitate Jesus’ example of love and service.
In the above passage, the sacred writer narrates a portion of the Johannine version of the last supper. And most of us are familiar with John 13 from the Maundy Thursday services we have attended. We even may have taken our place at the foot wash basin to participate.  But if we pause and look carefully at what Jesus teaches in this scene, it is simple yet profound. Christ is modeling the humility and love that we are called to spread in this sometimes weary world.
In walking with Christ, we yearn to serve others. Jesus lived a ministry of service and self giving, not a ministry of power and dictatorship. Our role as disciples, then, is to follow the way and teachings of Jesus. And His humility and self giving at this last supper discourse set the standard. Jesus says, “Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them” (17). Our lives are truly blessed when we do the best we can to imitate the self giving, humble ways of Jesus. So the next time we offer a smile, welcome, assistance, care, time, or complement to the person in front of us, we, too, wash the feet of our neighbors.
Please pray with me:
Loving God,
Let our lives imitate Your love, let the small moments of our day be a radiance of Your light, and let the people we serve know and be drawn to Your presence and love in this world. Amen.
Have a blessed week!