Daily Reflection – 5/4/2023
“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 that evening 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.
Now one of the greatest lessons Jesus taught is unveiled.
It’s all about Selflessness and Forgiveness.
The Son of God kneels before his disciples and signals that each of us must recognize that all humanity is considered sacred. He signals that we must serve each other. He signals that He forgives as we must forgive.
In these days of constant finger pointing and hurling of diatribes at each other, we must step away. We need to internalize that each of us is a child of God. We can’t hate one another. That is not in keeping with the words of Jesus Christ.
Wait. There is another component of the great commandment of love. We must give of ourselves to others. We are called to a life of service. There is no excuse. No matter what our situation, we must find ways to not only one another but to serve one another in His name.
Wait again. There is still another component of that great commandment. As He forgave the man who was to betray Him, we too must learn to forgive, regardless of the hurt!
That’s a tall order for us. It is difficult to forgive some hurts. But we can’t have peace in our soul unless we do. How can we experience the fullness of His love if our soul is still in darkness.
How do we know the joy of being selfless and of forgiving another?
Think of it this way.
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, or one can turn one’s back on Jesus’ gift of love.
But always carry this in your heart. 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!