Jump into Serving

As God’s beloved children, we are protected and guided, hope-filled and cleansed, refreshed and filled with life. This week we reflect on ourselves and our hearts that Jesus says flow with rivers of living water. (John 7; see last week)

When we reflected on baptism, we said that those waters cleanse us. At Jesus’ last meal with his disciples, he literally cleansed them by washing their feet. Sandaled feet walking dusty roads definitely needed washing. So that’s what Jesus did for his friends. This was, of course, a servant’s work. However, it was also an extreme act of intimacy and love. Jesus certainly didn’t just “do the job;” rather, he intentionally and loving washed those dirty feet.

For sure, his disciples were surprised and even resistant to Jesus’ care. Peter initially refused Jesus. But another surprise (perhaps also met with resistance) awaited the disciples. When Jesus returned to the table, he charged THEM to serve one another lovingly and humbly. Followers of Jesus are those who serve with basins of water in imitation of their Teacher and Lord.


John 13

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. 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.

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.” John 13


Reflect on this week’s scripture.  Are there any words or ideas that especially resonate with you or challenge you?

  • Jesus is confident in who he is as the Father’s Son. He does a servant’s humble work as God’s Son. How might having a confident identity shape your service to others?

  • When have you been served with intimacy and love by another? What was this like for you? Were you resistant, humbled, honored, blessed? Remember that such service goes well beyond the literal washing of our feet. Many acts of service are foot washing love.

  • When have you been a foot washer? What was that like for you? How do you serve others with foot washing love?


Jesus, my Teacher and Lord,

Thank you that you are so loving and humble.

Thank you for those who serve me in love.

Open me to the ways that I can lovingly serve others.