Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 2 :: Redefining Greatness

“Learn the lesson that, if you are to do the work of a prophet,
what you need is not a scepter but a hoe.” 
~Bernard of Clairvaux
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God. He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist.  After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him. (John 13:3-5)
“As the cross is the sign of submission,” writes Richard Foster, “so the towel is the sign of service. When Jesus gathered His disciples for the Last Supper, they were having trouble deciding who was the greatest. This was no new issue for them. Whenever there is trouble over who is the greatest, there is trouble over who is the least.  That is the crux of the matter for us, isn’t it?  Most of us know we will never be the greatest; just don’t let us be the least.
“Gathered at the Passover feast, the disciples were keenly aware that someone needed to wash the others’ feet.  The problem was that the only people who washed feet were the least.  So there they sat, feet caked with dirt.  It was such a sore point that they were not even going to talk about it.  No one wanted to be considered the least.  Then Jesus took a towel and a basin and redefined greatness.”[i]
After Jesus finished doing the unthinkable, He turns to His disciples and says, “14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16Very truly I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” As we journey through Lent, may we look for opportunities to serve others.  Who are some people in your life who typically serve you? (i.e. gas station attendants, waiters, waitress, store clerks, custodians, etc.) How can you begin serving them?

Prayer: “Jesus, help me to selflessly serve others just as You served.”

A businessman once asked,
“How can you tell if you have a servant attitude?” The replay came,
“By the way you react when you are treated like one.”[ii]


[i] Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline, 126.
[ii] Lorne Sanny, Daily Walk, April 1982.

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