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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | John 13:1–7                   

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” (NRSV)

Reflection
If any of us knew that we had less than twenty-four hours left to live what we would do with that time? Would we be focused on ourselves and be full of fear, anger, or regret, or would we be filled with love, grace, and the humility of Christ? Imagine Christ’s actual state of mind at the Last Supper. I can only imagine that knowing his death was imminent that he was incredibly frightened and doubtful of the courage he needed to face his cruel and unjust death. How could anyone not be petrified?

Yet even with him experiencing and sharing this very human and normal fear of pain and impending death, Christ some how remained focused on teaching and preparing the disciples for their challenges of the future.

Christ knew the apostles wouldn’t really understand what he was truly doing as he knelt down as a lowly servant to wash their dirty feet during their last meal together. In fact they resisted and were embarrassed by him kneeling before them. Humbling himself as a lowly servant, full of grace, and modeling to his disciples his teachings, Christ fully exemplifies humble, unconditional love. Seek to serve rather than be served. Be humble and not prideful. The ongoing challenge of loving our neighbor as ourselves is the foundation of our Savior’s message, yet how do we live this each day?

 In today’s culture of self-centeredness and personal satisfaction, how can we intentionally begin to act as humble servants and develop a Christ-like attitude and way of life? How can we shun pride and humble ourselves by deliberate loving gestures each day?

Prayer
Dear Lord, please reveal to me a person to serve each day with humble, loving gestures and acts of kindness. Please fill me with your grace, courage, and unconditional love to always serve others before myself. Amen.

Written by Cris Ohr, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church


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