Sometimes, perhaps, Christians become so focused upon one aspect of the Jesus’ teachings that it nearly overshadows another important teaching – humility and service.
What I mean is that Jesus breaking the bread and pouring the wine was not the only aspect of becoming like Christ for His disciples. The act in and of itself was not mysterious, but it was significant. Jesus spoke to His disciples and the crowds using Rabbinical parables to illustrate and to teach. Is it really much of a stretch then to consider He was using the Passover bread and wine to do the same here? Of course not!
The Path To Sacrificial Love:
In order to become like Christ in every way, Jesus does something more significant for His disciples at Passover – He washes their feet. Towards the end of the meal, as recorded in John 13:13-15, Jesus gets up takes off his outer garments and puts a towel around His waist. He then pours water into a basin and does the unthinkable. He stoops down low, kneels before His students, in essence becoming a servant or slave to them and washes their feet. Talk about significant! Jesus illustrates for His disciples how to serve others. Isn’t that the path to sacrificial love? Shouldn’t this become our focal point more often in our living rather than a monthly or weekly ceremonial breaking of the bread?
But Get This…
What if one of these things lead to the other?
What I mean by that is this: What if by serving your fellow parishioners, neighbors, even enemies led to holy communion with one another? I don’t mean simply going to the nearest church and participating in a communion service, I mean literal fellowship…holy fellowship with one another because we are willing to place each other before ourselves…what if?
What would happen then? Do you see what I’m saying? It is so much harder to do than a ceremony. It is so much more strenuous to “get along” with others let alone serve one another…but isn’t that the path to sacrificial love?
The Cart Before The Horse…
Sure, it’s most likely assumed that these two elements of Christ’s teachings go together, but do they really in today’s “Christian” world? I mean it’s simple to follow through the motions on a simple ritual week after week in church, but is it really that simple to become like Christ by becoming the servant and serving those around us? I would contend that it is not. It is much easier to say the words than to live out the context of those words. Could it be that before holy fellowship (as I described it above) can be performed one must take off their outer garments, place a towel around the waist and serve?
Jesus said, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:21)…what would happen if our treasure was two-fold (1) Christ and then (2) others? Would we have to look very far to see either? NO!
John 13:12-17 – “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.“
Something more to ponder today.
To God be the glory!
Isn’t so easy to get our Christian walk out of balance. Communion can be such ritual thing, but if we started to insist on people washing the feet as a practice I fear that we could also fall into the trap of making a ritual out of this as well. Jesus wants us to really connect with people and in this day and age that is getting to be harder and harder because people are crawling into their boxes more often.