Holy Week gives us pause.
We reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made,
the devotion of his followers,
and the grief they suffer in his death.
How will you walk through Holy Week? Where do you find yourself in the cast of characters surrounding Jesus during this Lenten season?next >
After he washed the disciples’ feet, he put on his robes and returned to his place at the table. He said to them, “Do you know what I’ve done for you? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you speak correctly, because I am. If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example: Just as I have done, you also must do. I assure you, servants aren’t greater than their master, nor are those who are sent greater than the one who sent them. Since you know these things, you will be happy if you do them.
John 13:12-17next >
Following Jesus is a task requiring courage. To do as Jesus showed and taught the disciples not only requires courage but also humility. It certainly is not an easy path. Following Jesus means embracing the messy and painful, sitting with and in the suffering, and loving the unlovable. If it’s all these things, why do it? Do you do it to make sure you have a place in heaven? Do you do it because being Christian means being involved in God’s redemptive work in the world? What if, maybe, Jesus knew something about how we are created. Look at the last verse again.
“Since you know these things (lives of service and humility), you will be happy if you do them.” We do feel joy when we serve others. We feel joy when we love others. We feel joy even when sitting with the suffering, not because we welcome it for them, but because Jesus knew we needed community built on shared service of one another. Try it today. See if you aren’t more joyful as a result.
Brian Foremannext >
God, show me joy that comes from serving as Jesus taught us to do. Show me the satisfaction that comes, not from accumulating more, but from loving one another. Amen.next >
The Kingdom is here, but not yet in its fullness.
Jesus taught his followers to be about Kingdom-building through service and love. He never promised them it would be easy.
Go and do likewise.
Brian Foreman is the director of the Campbell Youth Theological Institute (CYTI) at Campbell University, where rising high school Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors are invited to explore their faith, vocational leanings, and how each translates into social action through lives of service and leadership. For more information about CYTI, visit www.campbellyti.com.
Brian is also professor in the Divinity School and the Department of Christian Studies, teaching courses in youth and education ministry, as well as Introduction to Christianity classes.
Brian lives in Raleigh with his wife Denise and two teenagers, Brock, 17, and Adria, 13, who are his own personal youth group.
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