We hope you are able to worship with us this Sunday – beginning with
breakfast at 7:30 in Wesley Hall, 8:30 in the Chapel, and 9:30 with
discussion in the Foundation building. Continuing with the Lenten theme,
“What Happens At The Table.” Anna Troy will be preaching this week from
the Gospel of John about foot washing. See Anna’s introduction to her
sermon below along with some pondering questions for us to “chew on”
until we gather on Sunday.
And, did you know…Anna will be graduating from Brite Divinity School
in May and will be Commissioned as a Provisional Deacon in the United
Methodist Church in June!?
I have always loved the foot washing passage in the Gospel of John.
Though I do not like people touching my feet, this story still has a
powerful meaning to me. It’s just not about my feet. Rather, I found
myself being drawn to what Jesus said to Simon Peter: “Unless I wash you,
you have no part with me.” (NIV) Like Simon Peter, I think we often miss
Jesus’ point, even after he explains it. Just like Peter needed to
re-evaluate what it meant to be a servant and the one served, we, too,
need to open ourselves to be served by others and not focus only on
service. This may sound a bit odd considering the church’s focus on
service, but if you look closely at what Jesus is saying, he does not say
“Go and serve others,” but rather, as he has “washed your feet, you also
should wash one another’s feet.” I would never say Jesus wants us to stop
serving and focus on ourselves. No. I do think he realized that we
sometimes need a reminder that we, too, should be cared for and served
out of love. Such a concept does not come easy to many of us. I have
often been reminded that I needed to receive such service–and that’s ok.
We are called to both share and receive, even though receiving makes us
uncomfortable, just like Peter was.
I look forward to exploring this with you Sunday morning! But until then,
here are a few things for you to wrestle with:
Would you have reacted like Peter, or not said anything at all? Why?
Jesus’ words were directed to the poor and oppressed of his time. What do
they mean for you today?
Have a blessed weekend!
Before the Festival of Passover, Jesus knew that his time had come to
leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in
the world, he loved them fully. Jesus and his disciples were sharing the evening meal.
The devil had already provoked Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Jesus. Jesus
knew the Father had given everything into his hands and that he had come
from God and was returning to God. So he got up from the table and took
off his robes. Picking up a linen towel, he tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’
feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing. When Jesus came to
Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but you will
understand later.” “No!” Peter said. “You will never wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t have a place with me.”
Simon Peter said, “Lord, not only my feet but also my hands and my
head!” Jesus responded, “Those who have bathed need only to have their feet
washed, because they are completely clean. You disciples are clean, but
not every one of you.” He knew who would betray him. That’s why he
said, “Not every one of you is clean.”
After he washed the disciples’ feet, he put on his robes and returned
to his place at the table. He said to them, “Do you know what I’ve done
for you? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you speak correctly,
because I am. If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you
too must wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example: Just as
I have done, you also must do. I assure you, servants aren’t greater
than their master, nor are those who are sent greater than the one who
sent them. Since you know these things, you will be happy if you do