April 14 (Maundy Thursday)

John 13:1-17, 31b-34

“For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you…If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” vss. 15, 17

According to John Jesus used his last evening with his disciples to demonstrate how they ought to live. Since he had washed their feet they were to wash one another’s feet, not just in a literal sense, but by adopting the role of a servant in their relationships with one another. It’s not a complicated job description. All Jesus is asking is that we imitate him–but it’s fiendishly difficult to pull that off! It’s not that we don’t know what to do–there’s plenty of information in the gospels about Jesus’ interactions with both his friends and enemies. He sums it up in this way: we are to love one another in a self-giving sacrificial way, the same way in which he has loved us. So many of us know this. We’ve heard it from the time we were children, but knowing isn’t the same as doing! And Jesus says that the blessings come our way only if we follow the example he has given. This has to do, not with final rewards, but with the daily joy and peace that come to us on the journey. And it doesn’t make any difference who we’re loving or serving: family, friends, strangers, enemies–Jesus doesn’t care! But as we learn to practice loving service, the richest blessings will come our way. It’s a promise from Jesus himself!

Thought for the Day: How do I practice daily loving service?

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