Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” John 13:1-8
At our last Reading the Word service, I found myself marveling at the sheer magnitude of God. He is our rock and shield, our redeemer and restorer, our provider and our guide, our creator and our ender, the Aleph and Tav. I imagine what I was feeling was a small glimpse of what Peter was feeling when Jesus began washing His feet. Surely Lord, you are not going to wash my feet, it should be the other way around! Peter knew that his master was THE Master, the Messiah. The idea of the people’s savior washing his feet was shocking, and I am sure he was feeling unworthy of such a humble act of honor.
Jesus quickly corrects Peter, giving yet another lesson on servant leadership. And Peter, true to his passionate ways, overcorrected his response. But I think we all feel quite unworthy sometimes. I go as far as to suggest that we often don’t feel like we even have any business sitting at His table, let alone the foot washing. We wonder, what makes me fit to sit with our Lord at His table? Thoughts go through our minds like, ‘I am such a sinner, why would God want to let me in His presence.’ ‘I have a hard time just taking care of myself and those closest to me, let alone serve others…surely Christ has no room for me.‘ ‘What could I possibly bring to this table that is worthy my admittance?’
Yet the beauty of the Lord’s Table is that our place is not set by the quantity of our accomplishments, but by the fidelity of our commitment. Have we given our lives to Him? Have we surrendered to His Lordship and chosen to walk in His grace? Have we placed our faith in Him in such a way that it will produce works? Are we willing to take the blessing we have been given and bless others?
The Great news of this criteria (some might say Gospel) is that there is room for those with little and those with much, so long as we are faithful with what has been given. That as great and mighty as our Lord is, He wishes to commune with us. He is willing to cleanse us of our unrighteousness so that we can have this fellowship. So, He isn’t looking for perfection, but for faithfulness. Will we keep pulling ourselves up, with His helping hand, when we fall? Will we learn from our successes and failures, giving all glory to Him? Will we pass the faith, hope, and love He has given us to others? If so, then there is room for us at His table.
So as we come to His table each week during Sunday service, may we do so with humility and thanksgiving, not worry and unworthiness. May we embrace that our life has been restored by He who took upon Himself the penalty of our sin so that we can dine at His table. May we honor Him there, renewing our faith and seeking guidance for our path.
-- Pastor Justin
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