April 5, 2012
Exodus 12:1-4, 11-14 NRSV Bible
1 Corinthians 11-23-26 NRSV Bible
John 13:1-17, 31b-35 NRSV Bible
We have almost come to the end of our Lenten journey together. It has been a rollercoaster ride to say the least. We have been to so many stops on the road. We now enter the upper room where Jesus taught His disciples then and now one of the most important lessons in His ministry. There was one last thing He needed to show them…example for them…before He completed His work on the cross. Jesus took something that they were taught as they grew up…the Pass Over Seder…and turned into something new…something different. They were taught that the Seder was a remembrance of how God delivered the Israelites from the tyranny of the Egyptians. Now this new thing was about remembering Jesus and His teachings…about remembering how Jesus acted and to go and do likewise.
At this Seder, Jesus did something that a teacher would never have done. Instead of having others wash His feet…instead of claiming the rights of one was above others…Jesus did a new thing. He was the one who washed the feet. Taking on the posture of a servant instead of being served, He taught the disciples and us to live a new way…one that puts others above our selves.
I can understand how Simon Peter felt…he knew who Jesus was. Peter understood that Jesus was special. Peter felt unworthy of Jesus washing his feet but Jesus told him that if He didn’t, Peter could have no part of what Jesus was doing…this new way of life. In taking on this new lifestyle… of a servant…Jesus also gave them and us a new commandment. To love others not as our self but as Jesus loved. To be willing to put aside self and take up theirs and our own cross and follow Jesus’ example.
We are called to live in a new and radical way…much different than the world around us as Jesus’ disciples. We are called to love unconditionally. We are called to serve others with the love and joy that Jesus did. We are called into the family business, as beloved children of the Most High God. We are called to be Christ to the world. Imagine what the world would be if we were more interested in the family business than branching out on our own? I wonder what would happen if humanity would return to its original form and walk in the cool of the evening with our God? I wonder what it would be like if you and I would unconditionally be the hands and feet of Christ? Just imagine.