"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." John 13:14-15
In "The Volunteer Revolution", the term "lifer" is used to describe someone who decides to serve alongside God for as long as he gives them breath. Someone who determines that "for the rest of my life, 'living beyond myself' will be the lens through which I view everything!" And while you may think you're far from becoming a lifer right now, every lifer will tell you that it all began with the step you may have recently taken: Just jumping in! Their lifestyle of service can be traced back to one small "yes" to pitch in, help out, step up or lend a hand. And from that point on, they were goners...in a good way!
If you want to see the ultimate portrait of a lifer, you need look no further than to Jesus himself. In his brief time on earth, Jesus deftly bypassed the wind-chaser profile and instead--with gusto, zeal and a serving towel over his arm, lived life as the ultimate world-changer. And he invites you to live this same kind of life. You are called to live the abundant life of one who knows Christ and makes a difference in the world by using your God-given gifts to serve others.
Jesus knows it's not easy to adopt a lifetstyle of service in a world that has little value for servanthood. But he also knows the inherent power of serving others, of "doing good" for those around you. This week you're invited to explore this power as you consider what it means to "do good" on an ongoing basis.
"Me-First" No More
John 13:1-15 presents a picture of true servanthood: Jesus washing the disciples' feet. Although today this may seem a strange way to serve someone, in first century Palestine, washing a guest's feet was the truest form of service. It was a degrading, menial task usually performed by slaves or hired help.
When Jesus willingly bowed his knee, took the towel from his waist and began cleaning his followers' feet, he was saying, "Before I show the extent of my love by dying on a cross and bearing the full weight of your sin, let me remind you of the path to the abundant life to which I've called you.
"As you feel the dirt fall away from your feet, remember that my sacrifice of love allows your sin to fall away. As your dry, dusty toes absorb the cool water, be reminded that in me, your soul will never thirst again. As you look upon me, the Master, washing the feet of you, the servant, remember that I didn't come to be served, but to serve. Be renewed. Be cleansed. And extend this love to others."
Figuratively speaking, have you ever had your "feet washed" by another person? Has someone taken the time, energy and care to clear some dust out of your life and provide water for your thirsty heart? What did it look like?
Why do you think Jesus chose the menial, degrading task of foot-washing to show his followers how to serve others? How does this compare to the world's "me-first" mindset you looked at a few weeks ago?
Have you ever been prompted to serve someone when it was inconvenient or the task was unappealing? How did you respond? It's true that serving others can sometimes be hard or feel boring. How might remembering Jesus' example of foot washing help you view those times of serving through a different lens?
Have great week, Leon Burdette Adult Education/Ministry/Assimilation Pastor 770-428-2100, ext. 1120 firstname.lastname@example.org
"Becoming the Church Next Door" - Real Relationships - Selfless Service - Connecting People to Christ