I love that I attend a church that ushers in the presence of God and that I actually have a life-changing experience every single time I attend corporate worship. I’d like to think that this just happens like a stroke of luck but it doesn’t a lot of work and a lot of communication during the week enables the facilitation of such things.
Anyways, we’ve been focusing this summer on loving and serving one another. We have had so many devotions on what it means to be a servant and what it means to love your neighbor. Today’s sermon was based in John 13. Everyone knows the “washing feet story”. The picture of how Jesus stooped low to wash us is told a lot. I’m not going to give you a report of the sermon. I do want to highlight some important things my pastor said. He said that Jesus knew who he was, and his calling. Pastor JP said that “ when you are secure in your identity and secure in your calling , you can accept any feedback”. I’ve been really struggling with being me. Who I am doesn’t seem congruous with my calling. However, that’s probably because I’m thinking who I am is Zombie Sarah ( my old identity). The fact that its not enough to be secure that you are a daughter of the King but I have to be secure in the fact that he called me to cast out darkness and set captives free. If I am not, any stray comment about the way I serve or the way I do things can derail the process.
While recounting the story, Pastor JP said “ Jesus was saying I see that you are dirty and I still love you. I’m going to wash you clean. I’m going to get my hands dirty. Then I want you to go and do this for others” I have always had a problem with people who say things and don’t do them. I even have a problem with people who read things in books and assume they are fact, having not experienced it themselves. Everyone knows that person. The one who thinks they are the authority on police brutality but is neither a police officer or a person of color. * confused face* Jesus wasn’t that kind of leader. He is not unmoved by our suffering. The bible says that he suffered like us.
Pastor JP went on to say that Jesus is looking for intimacy with us. He doesn’t want us to just respond with words. It’s so easy for me to talk or even write. But can I give my time, my energy, my heart to Him and his kingdom. In the Passion Translation John 13: 1-2 says “Jesus knew that the night before Passover would be his last night on earth before leaving this world to return to the Father’s side. All throughout his time with his disciples, Jesus had demonstrated a deep and tender love for them. And now he longed to show them the full measure of his love.
The fact that the full measure of his love was his expression of humility and service is hard for me to swallow. I’m not humble. I laugh at classmates when they give answers I think are obviously wrong. I get upset when something I think should come easily to me, just doesn’t. It’s something I’m not proud of but its something I struggle with because learning new things has come easy for me on many occasions. In many respects, I’m too smart for my own good. If I think I’m too good, if I try and clean myself up, I leave no room for Jesus. I can’t wash myself. The New Living Translation says Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”( John 13:8)
If you’ve seen or read anything I’ve written, you would know that I always wanted nothing more than to belong. Today I belong. I belong to Jesus. I belong to His church. I am a daughter.