21 Mar From the desk of Pastor Cherie
We are staying connected in different ways during these different times. While we are not having in-person gatherings, that doesn’t mean we can’t do church and be church together.
My message will be live-streamed on our Facebook page (St Giles St. Catharines) tomorrow morning at 10 am and then shortly after that it will be available on our YouTube channel (St Giles 1954) and there will be a link on our website (www.stgilesstcatharines.ca). I invite you to watch and share as you feel led.
To give you a fuller experience, I am including a prayer for you, the scripture reading and a devotion for your week. I will also make available my sermon available in print for anyone who wishes it, or wishes to pass it on to a friend.
Here’s how we can pray together. Today, before watching our live-stream or video message or at some point today, I invite you to pray this prayer…
Holy God, source and sovereign, you put all power and authority into the hands of Christ— Christ, who washes our feet in humble service. Teach us to love one another as Christ has loved us, so that everyone will know that we are his disciples; through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray in the words that he taught us, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. Forever and ever, amen.
Here is our scripture reading for today. As you feel led, perhaps spend some time meditating on God’s words for us today, and pray for God to speak into your heart as you hear his voice in this…
John 13:1-17, The Message translation
Washing His Disciples’ Feet
Just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world to go to the Father. Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them right to the end. It was suppertime. The Devil by now had Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, firmly in his grip, all set for the betrayal.
Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Master, you wash my feet?”
Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.”
Peter persisted, “You’re not going to wash my feet—ever!”
Jesus said, “If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing.”
“Master!” said Peter. “Not only my feet, then. Wash my hands! Wash my head!”
Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene. So now you’re clean. But not every one of you.” (He knew who was betraying him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you.”) After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table.
Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.
Devotion for this week:
Followers of Jesus distinguish themselves through humble acts of service to those who don’t expect it and are unable to repay it. Foot washing is a distinctive mark of the followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t say, “Blessed are you if you know what I know.” Jesus said, “Blessed are you if you do what I do.”
How did Jesus do it?
- He saw a need and moved to meet it.
- He didn’t wait for an invitation.
- He took the initiative.
- He took off his uniform of greatness and got down on his knees.
- He didn’t announce what he was going to do. He didn’t stand up and say, “Well, men, I’m Jesus and now I’m going to wash your feet.”
- He didn’t wait for a thank you and didn’t receive one either. That is what a servant does. He sees the need and moves to meet it.
Servanthood begins with an attitude of the heart. Jesus said, “Do as I have done.” My question to you is this, Whose feet are you going to wash this week?
Here are some ways to wash feet.
- Running errands for a friend.
- Baking a cake for a shut in.
- Sending a note of encouragement to a single mom.
- Comforting a friend who has strayed from the Lord.
- Offering to pick up groceries for a shut in
- Hugging your children every day.
- Refusing to repeat gossip.
- Sending flowers to a friend.
- Giving anonymously so a single Mom can send her child to camp, or VBC
- Intervening in a quarrel to bring two friends back together.
- Buying food for Community Care.
- Helping a friend learn how to communicate online
- Writing your parents a love note.
- Cleaning up the kitchen so your spouse can relax.
- Complimenting your boss.
- Keeping a secret you’d really like to share.
- Changing the oil on a friend’s car.
- Making supper for a new mom.
- Volunteering to serve in the nursery.
- Reading books to children.
These are just suggestions. The heart is what matters. The servant’s heart will always find plenty of dirty feet to wash. If you have the right kind of heart, you will find opportunities this week to wash dirty feet.
I would invite you to pray a prayer right now. The prayer is, “Lord, whose feet should I wash this week?” Don’t pray for ten names. Start with just one, your husband, your wife, your children, your family, your friends, people across the street, your co-workers, somebody you barely know. Ask the Lord for one name right now. And offer that name, and your commitment to ‘wash feet’ to God in your prayers. And don’t be surprised when the opportunity arises.
Be safe, be well, be faithful. You are be-loved. – Pastor Cherie