When we think someone is sinning, we often feel compelled to comment. We can change them. We can help them. They just don’t fully realize the extent of their actions. They haven’t tried hard enough to change their stripes. They haven’t asked the right questions to get help. They haven’t read the right books to understand their own waywardness.
Maybe this week coincides with the week that Jesus died millennia ago. Maybe it doesn’t. That’s okay. Here on The Haystack we wanted to reflect on it anyway. The most notable event on Thursday of the Holy Week is the Last Supper. However, there’s a moment before that stands out to me a little bit more. It is only recorded in one of the Gospels. Perhaps, because it is so shocking. For years I had been desensitized to this particular moment in the Holy Week. In the following fictional mediation, a girl has a similar epiphany to the one I had on in my bed listening to a sermon years ago.
It was time for the Ordinance of Humility. Ambree got up and awkwardly looked around. She wanted to find someone that she needed to reconcile with or someone that she needed to be reminded to serve. She met Genesia’s eyes across the room they nodded to each other.
“I am not sure how to do this,” Genesia confided.
“It’s your first time, right?” Ambree responded.
NEXT STEPS: Young Adult Ministry Training
“Don’t worry. I’ll show you.”
The women walked into the room allocated for the womenfolk. There were women already washing each other’s feet –solemn and emotionless. Ambree felt Genesia tense a little as she apprehensively confronted the new experience. Ambree gave her an encouraging bump with her shoulder.
Ambree serves their first bowl of water, picked up a towel and guided Genesia to a seat.
“We do this because this is what Jesus did for his disciples, right?” ask Genesia.
“Yes,” responded Ambree as a tear slipped out of her eye as she stopped to embrace the meaning of this awkward service.
“Are you crying,” asked Genesia in surprise.
“Uh, well. Oh. Yeah… It’s just that if I think about it I get humbled to tears.” Ambree confessed. “I mean God left his lofty throne and knelt before us….”
She paused for a moment.
“He was eager to serve us. He got his hands dirty…. We love God because He first loved us. We serve because God first served us. I feel unworthy of a God like that.”
Genesia’s eyes widened as she grasped the situation with her imagination. She saw God sitting on a lofty throne. It towered above her. Perhaps, 40 stories. She could see that he was peering at her over the arm. She squinted to see his face. Was that a frown? She couldn’t see it clearly, but she figured it was a pretty accurate guess.
Something gently touched her foot. Genesia jumped and turned towards the person. She saw what appeared to be Jesus kneeling at her feet.
“What can I do to serve you?” he asked.
Genesia nodded for him to wait and glanced back at the throne. She was still trying to make out God’s expression. The throne was empty.
The epiphany overwhelmed her. It was God kneeling before her. He was kneeling. As overwhelmed as she was, Genesia noted that her feet were dirty and diseased. God reached out and grabbed them anyway. His gentle hands rubbing away the grime and healing the fungus.
“No,” Genesia said the words inadvertently tumbling out as she tried to pull her feet away.
Ambree looked up puzzled wondering if she had done something wrong.
“No, God,” Genesia whispered overwhelmed.
Ambree saw the tears streaming down Genesia’s face and understood.
“That’s what Peter said,” Ambree whispered back as she grasped Genesia’s feet and finished washing them. Then, she tenderly dried them.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28, New Living Translation