Today's Lectionary Text
After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
We don’t like having meals interrupted. A phone call during dinner is annoying. It’s worse when a holiday meal gets disrupted, whether it’s the phone ringing or in-laws “discussing” politics. Again.
But that is what Jesus does. The scripture says Jesus got up during dinner to wash the disciples’ feet. He had to have a reason. I can imagine the conversation at the table frustrated him. Maybe the disciples were “discussing” who is the greatest. Again.
He seizes the moment because he knows his time is short. I envision him washing feet with love but speaking with emotion; everyone could hear the frustration, or exasperation, or anger in his voice. It had to end with, “Now, do you get it?” either spoken or unspoken.
Therefore Go: Serve Others is the theme for our 2019 Annual Conference. Bishop Saenz asked us to pray these verses as we prepared. Serving others is hard work. Serving others means putting someone else’s needs ahead of our own. Serving others is what Christ called us to do.
In addition to serving a church, I work full time as a health inspector. Most of my days are spent alongside those who serve others; cooks, dishwashers, bartenders, servers. It’s hard work. The hours aren’t good, neither is the pay. For some it’s just a job, but not for everyone. I met a man who came to Kansas from Mexico and spent his working life baking bread for others. At an age most of us would be getting ready to retire, he was getting ready to open his own bakery. As we talked about why, he searched for the right words in English. I thought I got his point.
“It’s your calling?”
“Yes,” he said smiling, “it’s my calling.”
We are called to the work of serving others. We are called to serve those who may have the least. We serve others because we are called to love and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ as Christ first loved us.
-Pastor Michael Turner
Auburn Kansas UMC
Prayer for Reflection
Holy God, we thank you the gift of your Son who taught us to serve others. As we live our lives today, we will both serve and be served by others. In those moments help us see each other as Your children in whom You delight. Amen.
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