Shining Service

THE PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

Lord Jesus, you went faithfully to Jerusalem, speaking with your disciples of your death, the promise of salvation to be fulfilled. You washed the disciple’s feet as an example of love and service to others. Faithfully send your Spirit that we may hear and believe the story of God’s grace recorded in Scripture. We seek you this night which is different than other nights. Amen.

ENCOUNTER WITH SCRIPTURE                John 13:1-20                Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

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 him6 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.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.  I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But it is to fulfill the scripture, ‘The one who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I tell you this now, before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am he. 20 Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.”

MEDITATIONShining Service”

 

 

 

We come to a very special night. A night that is not like any other night. We come to remember our Lord, Jesus Christ’s service to the human race. We come to hear Jesus tell the disciples the importance of loving one another. We come to see Jesus humbly serve his friends with love and a towel. We come to taste the bread and the cup from the sacramental meal. We come to encounter Christ so that we can follow his example for living, giving, proclaiming, and honoring our relationship with God.

Jesus was a servant leader who led by example. He taught with words and actions. He demonstrated God’s love, justice and peace in real time in real ways. He spoke with authority and also put words into actions. He talked the talk and walked the walk. Jesus recognized the hunger in the crowd then fed them with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Jesus healed the sick, the lame walked, and every one received God’s unconditional love that changed them.

Jesus shined a light into the darkness of sin. He called everyone to leave their sin and repent so that they may approach the Holiness of God. He demonstrated his love by welcoming everyone and helping them move closer to their Heavenly Father. On this night, Jesus wanted to leave a lasting impression of God’s love through servanthood. He the leader would serve everyone by doing the lowliest task of washing the feet of the disciples. A task that anybody could do, everybody needed, but nobody wanted to do.

Jesus taught the crowd on the Mount of Beatitudes, “In the same way let your light shine before others, that they may see you good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Jesus tells us to be salt and light to the world. Christians shine bright when they serve others in Christ’s name. Others who observe our Christian service will see God’s activity and some will recognize this. On the other hand others will have no idea our motivation and will need a little explanation of God’s call for us to serve and love our neighbors.

In Ithaca, NY, the Community Service Team of Christian Union takes their acts of service into the downtown community. They are sharing the Gospel through their actions. They model Christ’s compassion and love through several volunteer activities. Anna Shea, the Christian Union Fellow and advisor states, “Our students formed the Community Service Team because they wanted tangible ways to communicate the love of Christ. They want others to experience, through their actions that Jesus is alive – not just on the Cornell Campus, but throughout Ithaca as well.”

Through our churches, we serve our neighbors in various ways. Our support of ECHO, Love Inc., Salvation Army reflect our love of God. When we pursue service activity, we serve our Lord by caring for our neighbors. When we let our light shine in a physical way, we demonstrate God’s love in tangible ways. When we gather with Christians across the city to support Kids Against Hunger packaging One Million Meals, we proclaim God’s love to the needy in our community and around the world.

As we gather at the Lord’s Table this evening to remember God’s activity throughout history, I invite you to reflect on Christ’s shining service to you. Jesus gave us an example of service to all people with a transforming love. Let us also examine our hearts to see how we can continue to shine the Lord’s light to the world as we joyfully serve our neighbors glorify God. TGBTG. Amen.

  November 2017  
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