Daily Reflection – 5/7/2020
“Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. I am not speaking of all of you. I know those whom I have chosen. But so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.’ From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”( John 13:16-20)
Can you imagine the shock of the apostles when Jesus knelt to wash their feet? Here was the Master doing the work of a slave. In those days, it was customary for a slave to wash the feet of visitors. To not provide this kindness would be considered uncivilized and inhospitable.
As incredible as this scene is, Jesus was also washing the feet of the very man who would, later that same evening, betray Him to His enemies. What on earth was going on?
Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that it was not of this earth. Jesus met the injury of betrayal and disloyalty by Judas with the greatest humility and with supreme love. Jesus loved his disciples to the very end, even when they failed him and forsook him. So too, the Lord loves each of us unconditionally. His love has power to set us free to serve others with Christ-like compassion and humility.
God is love and his love is best expressed by His Word: Jesus Christ! God’s tolerance towards man is best described by one act: His crucifixion. Instead of condemning the world, he died for it! Instead of blasting and cursing to smithereens sinners the Lord embraced them, welcomed them and healed them.
Jesus’ act of love, manifested symbolically in the washing of the feet and sharing of bread, presents everyone who sits at his table with a choice: One can embrace Jesus’ gift to us and embody one’s embrace of that gift through one’s own acts of love or, one can turn one’s back on Jesus’ gift of love. This means that merely sitting at Jesus’ table, and even eating the bread that he gives, is not the full story. It has to be continued in the giving of self to others and is only completed when this is done. We then enter into community with Jesus and with one another.
Even his example of serving Judas as a slave would his master. His love never failed! What a lesson for every person reading this, always remember that His love for you will never end! You may reject every attempt of Jesus to call you unto Himself, but rest assured that no matter how many times you rebuff His efforts, you will never be able to turn off His love for you and for your soul. In fact, He has already humbled Himself on your behalf, when He went to the cross and died for you!
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, your love conquers all and never fails. Help me to love others freely, with heart-felt compassion, kindness and goodness. Where there is injury, may I sow peace rather than strife.”
We profess Christianity much more profoundly in our deeds than with our words. Do we listen to the Word of God “Sabbath after Sabbath,” then leave its lessons in the pew when we leave the church? Do our words encourage or dispirit? Have we “washed the feet” of the poor, the hungry, the sick, the imprisoned in our service to them? Do we blindly ignore our own faults while criticizing others’ foibles? Do we crucify others on the cross of our expectations?
If we truly want to keep the love of Jesus ever in our hearts, we need to pick up that basin and towel!