Thursday, April 13, 2006

Holy Week--Holy Habits 4

This week we're considering the spiritual practices of Jesus and their relevance to our own lives. On Maundy Thursday, it's appropriate to consider this story from John 13:2-5:

"The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him."

Here, through the washing of the disciple's feet, Jesus shows us the discipline of service. Jesus serves even though John tells us that the Father had put all things under Jesus' power. Jesus did not have to serve. If anything, he was the one to be served. And yet, as Paul says in Philippians 2, Jesus willingly gave up his rights in order to serve humanity with his very life. Service gives glory to God when it's done on behalf of our fellow human being, with a view of thanksgiving toward God--remembering how He serves us and gives us life.

Recently, I've seen some inspiring acts of service. My church's junior high confirmation class, on their own initiative, organized a pancake for a person with cancer in our area. A wife faithfully stood by her husband near the end of his life. My 2-year-old son got off his tricycle in order to give a helpful starter push to his sister on her bicycle.

George Eliot writes, "What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?"

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