“Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”
The Gospels are a unique genre of literature in the Scriptures. They include both Jesus’ words and actions and ultimately His saving action on the cross. Part of the joy of reading the Gospels is understanding how Jesus’ teaching is tied to His interactions with people. For instance, so many of the healing accounts include key insights in the words that our Lord speaks as He heals.
The Gospels make it clear that Jesus did not come simply to teach, but to serve and to save. He does not simply talk about showing mercy to those in need, but He actually shows mercy. Throughout His public ministry, the readers witness how Jesus’ words and actions are in harmony with one another. In John 13, our Lord does not simply tell His disciples that they should love one another. But He, the Lord and Master, the Founder of the Feast, gets up from the table and takes on the servant’s role and washes the feet of His disciples so as both to serve and instruct them.
The Church must guard against the danger of only speaking the Word of God without putting it into practice. As Christians, we, who have been loved and served by Christ through His death and resurrection, through His Word and Sacraments, respond by loving and serving our neighbor. We don’t simply talk about loving, we love because He first loved us. We don’t simply talking about serving, we serve because He still serves us. With the intense flooding that has occurred across the state, there will be ample opportunities to serve others in need. May God the Holy Spirit move us to not only be speakers of the Word, but also to put the Word into practice as we love and serve others.
Prayer – Almighty God, our heavenly Father, You sent your beloved Son not to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many. As we have been served through His death and resurrection and His life-giving Word, move our hearts to serve as we have been Him; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan