The scripture today is John 13: 1-17, 31-35
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, 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. He came to Simon Peter, said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” for he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “you call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
When he (Judas) was gone, Jesus said “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Jesus gathered this one last night with his disciples, his best friends, and enjoyed the Passover meal. He knew what would happen, just 24 hours from then, but they did not. I imagine them talking and enjoying each other’s company during this celebration dinner. But then something different happened. Their teacher, whom they had been following, became the servant. Can you imagine how puzzled they might have been to have Jesus come to each of them and wash their feet? Simon Peter even questioned Him and told him to stop, but Jesus had yet another lesson to teach him. He taught them the beauty of humility and the importance of service to each other. He encouraged them to love each other as He had loved them.
What a beautiful message for all of us. We must follow Jesus and serve each other. We must love each other and watch over each other. In this time of fear and “social distancing” we must remember to love each other in all we do. We cannot forget this important message from Jesus, right before His ultimate sacrifice and ultimate gift of love for us.
Dear Lord, Thank you for loving us so much that you showed us how to love each other. Let us follow your lead in this world and be hope and light to those around us. Amen
Prayer Concern: Those who are feeling separated from those around them.