Lisa Allgood, Executive Presbyter
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. – Ephesians 2:19-20
Last week we ended with “We try to be faithful, to hope, to aspire, to depend…”
There were a lot of things Jesus told us to do, too. Too many for one blog (50 on one count), and a few don’ts in there as well (as in, don’t judge, don’t worry, don’t despise the little ones…). You’ll each have your favorite do’s and don’ts.
Here’s mine – when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. In the context of the day, washing someone’s feet was the detested act of a servant, the lowest of the low in the household. Feet collected the dirt of the streets and the roads. Communal meals, such as the Last Supper, were taken reclining at low tables, and feet were very much in evidence – so clean feet were an imperative.
John 13:12-17: “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. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
You will be blessed if you do them. If you do them. Interestingly, Jesus didn’t say “I will bless you if you do them” – His grace is free. He said “you will be blessed if you do them”; for me that means in giving away a part of ourselves in service – sometime by doing that which we would consider considerably beneath us – we will understand the blessing we give, and so we are also blessed.
And haven’t we all learned that blessings given are also always blessings received? Not a pious self-congratulatory pat on our own back, but a true blessing?
Driving through Calcutta one day, I saw a quote written on a wall, a quote by Rabindranath Tagore: “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”
Joy. Blessings. Peace. Not from superiority, but from simple acts of service and humility. So what are we told to do..? Love others. Love your neighbors. Love (and pray for, and include in the Gospel) your enemies. Seek the Kingdom first. Ask. Seek. Knock. Be a servant. Be ready.
More to come…