Monday, April 19, 2010

Getting Up from the Table • John 13

Just before the Passover Feast, 
Jesus knew that the time had come
to leave this world to go to the Father.
Having loved His dear companions,
He continued to love them right to the end.
John 13:1

Jesus knew that the Father had
put Him in charge of everything,
that He came from God and
was on His way back to God.
So He got up from the supper table,
set aside His robe, and put on an apron.
Then He poured water into a basin
and began to wash the feet of the disciples,
drying them with His apron.
John 13:3-5

Jesus knew that His time on earth
was coming to an end. He was going to go back
to His rightful place with the Father.
He knew where He came from, 
He knew where He was going
and He knew the position
that the Father had given Him.
But He kept on. He kept on loving His companions.
He didn't forget about them. He didn't leave them behind
- even though they would leave Him. 
He continued to love them right until the end.

I love how the Bible puts it: "Jesus knew that the Father 
had put Him in complete charge of everything, 
that He came from God and was on His way back to God. 
SO, He got up from the supper table, 
set aside His robe and put on an apron."

He knew.  So.

It isn't "He knew. But, anyway."

To Jesus it was just what He needed to do next.
It made sense to Him. 
It was what He needed to do.

I think that I get too caught up in my position
as a mom (I want the respect, the obedience,
I want them to do the serving), 
and I miss out on the truth
that serving my family 
is what I need to do.

I think that I need to teach them
by telling them how, by making them do,
with lots of words and little action.

Jesus did just the opposite.
With no words He got up from the table
and just did what He needed to do.
He didn't stop and bang His wine goblet
with His fork to get their attention
and then in a loud voice explain
step-by-step what He was going to do.

He recognized what time it was, 
He got up, and humbly, quietly
began to wash their feet.

Later in verses 37 and 38 it says:

"Master," said Peter, "Why can't I follow now?
I'll lay down my life for You!"
"Really? You'll lay down your life for me?
The truth is that before the rooster crows, 
you'll deny me three times."

Oh how like Peter I can be!

Too often I think that I am so much more
committed to the Lord, so ready to do something
for Him, so ready to follow Him
and yet the truth is that I am not
where I am think I am. I'm not as committed
as I think I am. I am not as ready
for action as I think I am.

Jesus, thank You for teaching us by example.
Thank You for knowing me through and through
and not giving up on me,
thank You for not leaving me behind.
Thank You for loving me to the end.
Jesus, I like to think that I am ready
and willing to follow You where ever You go
and do what You want me to do.
But the truth is most of the time
I don't even make it out of the starting gate. 
I want to serve my family in love,
but too often I do it half-heartedly
or out of obligation or because no one else will.
Please forgive me, Lord. 
Please forgive me for wanting the position
of Mom, but not being willing to lead 
by serving as You taught us to.

Please help me to quietly get up from the table,
lay aside my robe, put on my apron
and wash my family's feet,
out of love for You and for them.

Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

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