The Washington Times-Herald

Columns

April 19, 2014

Learning from the examples of Jesus

I was reminded again on Thursday night at our church’s Maundy Thursday service about humility and obedience. As part of the traditional service, we not only take part in communion, but have a foot-washing service.

On the evening before his death, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, and then He instructed His followers to continue the practice.

I have always been a part of a church that observed this practice and taught the lessons of foot-washing. I am sure to many it seems strange and squeamish, and admittingly, as a youngster, I never fully understood the reasons behind the tradition.

But as I have gotten older, and hopefully wiser, I have come to appreciate the lessons of foot washing. In the private gathering where Jesus and His disciples were eating the Last Supper, no slaves or servants were present to remove the sandals and wash the feet of guests. But yet Jesus didn’t think of himself to highly to take over the menial task. How often do we think of ourselves above a certain task? Do our own lives reflect that servant-like attitude? What are we doing to serve others in our church or local community, or even around the world?

Sometimes the accomplishment of getting dinner on the table, and filling our glasses with ice and a cold drink can be an act of servitude. Or, maybe a couple loads of the family’s laundry washed and folded. And, after a long day at work, that might be all the “serving” we can accomplish. And, I think even those simple tasks can lead to blessings if they are done with a smile and a happy heart.

I was able to witness a cheerful, giving spirit on Good Friday. My daughters and I were about town running errands. Outside the grocery, we were digging in my purse searching for pocket change to get them each a soda. As they were working to get the machine to accept their dollars, a stranger approached us, and handed me another dollar.

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