True Servanthood

One of the issues I’ve had with this blog is finding topics to write about. Over the last year, my ideas have come in waves, and then, I haven’t been able to think of anything for weeks. Since I’ve made a commitment to writing more consistently in 2016, this is something I need to change. I’ve come up with an idea to write about on Mondays which should always gain me material because I am usually in church the day before. What is that idea, you ask? It’s a reaction piece to what I hear preached on Sundays. I’m sure my pastor will enjoy that. Ha! In all seriousness though, when I hear what God has given him to say, I have thoughts and feelings about it, and I can tell that God is using his words to teach me. So, why shouldn’t I write about it since writing is the way I make sense of the world around me?

With that, let’s go on to today’s topic. From the title, you have probably already guessed that the topic is servant hood. Serving others is discussed a lot in the Bible. There are many passages that could be used for a sermon on this topic. The one he used was John 13:1-17. I’m going to quote it here so I will have it to reference.

“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

 

I don’t know if you have ever been part of a foot washing ceremony. I have, and it’s a humbling thing to have your feet washed by someone else. It is giving up a level of control that we are all used to having in our lives. But, I think that is the point Jesus is trying to make here. All of us who say we believe in Him should not want that control of our lives. We should be giving that control over to our Lord and Savior and doing what He wants us to do. And we shouldn’t be doing it to get glory for ourselves either. Ouch! How many of us have thought about how nice it would be to be recognized for what we do? I know I have, and it’s not a pleasant thought for me when I think about how totally opposite that thought is to what Jesus wants for us. Humbling, isn’t it? Just like it’s humbling to have our feet washed.

When I think about true servant hood, I think about a precious friend and sister in Christ and what she is doing for her family. Her grandmother has cancer and needs a lot of help right now. My friend is spending her Sundays with her grandmother so her mother can get a break from her care. Some people might ask why my friend and her family aren’t in church. (Don’t get me wrong. Church is a good thing, and God does tell us we need to worship in community. ) But, I think my friend gets this passage from John in a way that a lot of us don’t. She is being a servant to her grandmother and helping with what her grandmother needs. I know she is not doing it for recognition and will probably feel awkward if she reads this. She is an example to me though of this passage and was the first person I thought of when my pastor was preaching yesterday.

So, when I think of the basin and the towel that Jesus used and when I think of what we are trying to accomplish at my church, I will think of my friend, and I will think of what Jesus would want me to do as I begin each day of yielding my life to Him once more.

God’s blessings on all of you today!

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