I love what I do for a living.
For the past 11 years I’ve been working in the church I grew up in as the youth pastor.
It really is a dream job.
I got married and am raising my family right where I grew up.
Some people can’t wait to move out and see the world, but I’ve enjoyed growing deep roots right here in Unincorporated South King County, WA (AKA Fairwood).
Serving God and people at NWLife Church is second nature really. I don’t know anything different.
Then I read John 13 again and had to rethink the whole thing.
Here’s the setting:
Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.
Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God.
So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. (John 13.1,3-5, NLT)
Jesus’ days of ministry on earth were marked by love. Nearing the end of his time on earth he wanted to put an exclamation point on that truth.
He was keenly aware of the authority he possessed so he did what came natural to him…
He served. He became a servant to his followers. He did the most humbling job imaginable and washed their dirty, nasty feet.
To quote a popular Jimmy Fallon sketch, “Ew!”
Not to surprising Peter (the Incredulous) speaks up:
“Lord, are you going to wash my feet? No, you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus said, “If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing.”
Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!” (John 13.8-9)
Peter catches a lot of flack for this interaction and I think it’s a little undeserved.
He’s only doing what you and I would do.
He’s talking to Jesus. His boss, his teacher, his leader; Jesus has changed Peter’s life and now he’s stooping down to wash his feet.
Peter knows it should be the other way around and says so.
There is something so counterintuitive about Jesus.
Jesus deserves to be served yet serves.
In our efforts to serve and show our love to Jesus we need to remember this important truth.
Jesus came to love and serve us too.
In fact, unless we slow down enough to allow Jesus to serve us we don’t get to be part of what he’s doing.
Life with Jesus isn’t what we can do for him, but what he’s already done for us.
Stacey and I have experienced this quite a bit lately.
We have been loved and served by others. People have made us meals, cleaned our house, watched our kids and folded our laundry.
It’s humbling. My ministry days have been marked by doing my best to serve others and now the tables have turned.
I’m used to helping others and ministering to them, now people are helping me.
This is the beauty of God’s kingdom. We love and serve one another.
Stacey and I experienced Jesus washing our feet while we sat at Children’s Hospital for 16 days with our son.
We’ve sensed God’s service to us when we needed it most.
This is what it means to be part of God’s family. We love and serve others.
AND we allow others to do the same.
Relax and receive.