Resurrection & New Life: Christ At Your Feet
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Scripture:  John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Let’s focus on just one piece of this scripture:
  “No!” Peter said. “You will never wash my feet!”
   Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t have a place with me.”
  Simon Peter said, “Lord, not only my feet but also my hands and my head!”
  Jesus responded, “Those who have bathed need only to have their feet washed, because they are completely clean. You disciples are clean, but not every one of you.”

Peter has an interesting reaction to Jesus, in this scripture, doesn’t he?  He first refutes Jesus, right?  Jesus goes to wash Peter’s feet and Peter says, “No way!”  Then Jesus tells that he must wash Peter’s feet and Peter wants more than Jesus offers.

It seems to me that a follower is pretty full of himself if he orders his leader around like Peter seems to do.  I wonder how we respond when we see Christ at work in this world.  Do we act like Peter or do we participate with Christ in the work He plans to do???   I mean, when we see the chaos of a soup kitchen do we accept that Christ is doing that work?  When we watch children at play do we really believe that Christ is shaping those lives?

First Peter denied Christ his chosen activity and then asked for more than Christ was offering.  Do we do this today?  Do we ignore Christ when it suits us (yes, the homeless man invisibly sleeping in a drainage ditch across town) and yet ask why God isn’t doing more to fix our world?

If we learn nothing else from Jesus’ teachings, we should at least know that Christ placed a high value on humanity.  Jesus came to life, did ministry, and died on the cross not because of how little God valued humanity, but because of how very much God valued our earthly life.  Here in this scripture, Christ is kneeling down to care for His friends and followers.  Today, still, Christ kneels down to wash our feet and his tears fall upon our flesh because fail to take part in His Holy mission.

As we journey with Christ towards the cross and Easter Sunday I ask that we keep our eyes open.  I beg that we, as people of faith, would keep our eyes open to the injustice that plagues this world and to take part in the work Christ is trying to do.  As a person of faith I beg you:  be the hands and feet of Christ so that we can take part in washing the feet of this world.  That we would participate in giving the world the gift of Christ.

Peter didn’t need to be washed.  Peter needed to have an experience of Christ.  There are so many people of this world who need to feel Christ at their feet, will it be you or I who will help them feel Christ in their lives this Holy Week?

Resurrection & New Life:  Betrayed
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Scripture:  John 13:21-32

In the scripture today Jesus is said to know that one of his disciples will betray him.  I want you to take a moment to consider this.  How many of us would ever knowingly keep someone who will betray us in our group?  I mean, if I know someone is talking behind my back or acting jealously (etc.) you had better believe that I will stop confiding in them.  If I know that a friend does not have my best interest at heart, you’d better believe that I no longer consider them friend.  My interests have to be important to my friends, right?  My needs have to be a concern for a true friend.

Christ does not define life or friendship as you or I do.  As Jesus approached the cross, he began to make it very clear that Life is far more than what we can see or experience.  In those last days of life, Christ showed us that there is more to experience than this lone world.  When Judas is invited to continue at the meal, in fact, invited to ‘do what he must do’ but quickly…Judas is shown that he is still cared for.  Jesus remained committed to Judas even when Judas was clearly not committed to Jesus.

There will be many times when we will betray our God.  It is part of being human, by the way.  Our God will be hurt and saddened by the decisions that we make and the things that we choose to do, yet God does not send us away from the table.  Jesus not only continues to eat with Judas, he actually dips bread and feeds Judas.  Jesus feeds the one who will betray him!?  I want to suggest that this is what happens for us at communion.  Communion is the act when we come forward in church and feed upon bread and juice as a sign of being fed by Christ….when it comes to that act, we are much like Judas.  We are imperfect human beings, yet God sees beyond us and our limitations.  We will mess up and betray God, yet God will still love us, feed us, commune with us.

During Holy Week consider what it means for us to still be at God’s table after all of these millennia.  What does it mean that Christ still communes with us?  What does it mean that Christ offers body and blood for us to partake in?  What does it mean that God does this knowing that we will commit betrayals?

Christ invites all of us, even though we will mess up, to walk with Him to the cross.  Christ invites all of us to journey the Easter  experience and to know his love.  Will you journey with Christ this Easter?  Are you prepared to be loved in a new way this Easter?