Jesus washes the feet of the of the Apostles John 13:1-15
The Gospel story of Jesus washing the feet of the apostles presents the two sides of service – giving and receiving. I remember one time after surgery a nurse washed not just my feet but my whole body. It was at once humbling and comforting. On the other side of the coin, I remember the time my mother was ill and had an “accident.” I cleaned her up, washed her, and changed her clothing.
She kept apologizing; for her it was an embarrassing, humbling experience. I assured her it was okay and did the service gently and reverently.
Today it is not customary to wash the feet of our guests, but in what other ways do we “wash” their feet? With comfort, listening, encouragement, etc?
How often in our culture do we give service to be admired or liked by another? Or, as bestowing something on another? It requires humility to give service as a gift which we have been given by God and asks us to listen for the other needs rather than what we think they need.
With the independent spirit our society, how willing are we to receive service from another? Or, do we cling to our independence and find ourselves overworked, frustrated, or irritable? Are we too proud to let another give us their gift of service?
When was the last time you received service graciously and gratefully and not like Peter? When was the last time you gave service humbly and gently, as a true gift? Jesus challenges us by his example. Will we follow in his footsteps?