In a world where people love God there is no
When people belong – it looks like the kingdom that Jesus had in mind.
To go deeper into a life of worship means we need to look at an aspect of worship we often overlook or don’t think of at all. We do “just me and God” very well. We spend time in prayer or meditation. We close ourselves in on a Sunday morning so it’s just us and God.
But then people happen. And we want to smack them.
Jesus defied the idea of worship of just being about us and God. I want to share about that further through the story of the Last Supper. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all talk about a part of the last supper we all know about. However, there is something about last supper we haven’t thought much about.
It’s important to remember that Jesus knew that was the very last night he would spend with his disciples. I don’t know about you but if I knew this was my last night to live, I would want to tell my kids the most important things I would want them to remember before I left. Jesus’s words at the last supper were important because this was the last night he had. If the disciples didn’t get anything else he said his entire time with them, he wanted them to get this.
He said, “When you gather together.” In other words, he wanted them to still gather together after he was gone. He didn’t want them to go their separate ways. He didn’t want them to be isolated from one another, He wanted them to continue to come together despite their differences.
Jesus’ disciples were a band of misfits. They were very different from one another. They came from different socio-economic backgrounds. They had different ideals and goals in life. Therefore Jesus was also saying, “When you gather together with people who are different than you”, giving us the mandate to eat with those who are not the same as us. People who don’t think like us, talk like us. People who rub us the wrong way. People who are of a different race and class than us. This was not the first time Jesus talked about inviting “different” people to the table. Jesus said to invite the poor, the weak. Why? He’s asking us to get beyond our tribe and lay down our walls of self protection against the “other”.
He then said, “When you gather together, remember that this is my body that is broken for you. This is my blood that is spilled for you. Do this in remembrance of me. We often think of this as and individual reflection time to remember what he did on the cross for us; that he died for our sins. This is true, of course. I remember that Jesus died for me, but is it just me and Jesus?
Remember the statement: “Broken for you”. “Spilled out for you”. “Emptied for you”. Jesus’ last prayer before ascending to heaven was this, “I have given them the glory that you gave me; that they may be one as we are one. I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity.” (John 17:22-23) Jesus was saying, when you gather together remember how I laid my life down for you,
….now lay yourselves down for one another.
We don’t often think of that do we?
John demonstrates this by telling another part of the last supper that the other disciples didn’t mention. He doesn’t mention the bread or the wine, but the water basin that Jesus used to wash his disciples feet. Because of the dusty roads and wearing of sandals, people’ feet were filthy. There was always a servant that would wash people’s feet when entering someone’s home so the house wouldn’t be covered in dust.
The night of the last supper, there was no servant to wash their feet, only the Servant of All. Jesus bent low and washed his disciples feet, demonstrating that no one is above one another. Here was the King of Heaven lowering himself doing the lowliest of tasks. It’s interesting to note that when the disciples entered the room and saw no servant to wash their feet, they never thought of washing one another’s feet. They would rather live in their dirt.
Jesus was revealing that he was willing to get down to their level into their mess and wash them.
He desires for us to do the same for one another. We often forget that while worship involves our heart for God, allowing him to wash us, but then also a heart for others, to serve and “wash” them. To lay down our glory for one another. To empty our desire to rule over one another or be better. It says in James, “Confess your sins to one another and you will be healed”. Why would it say that? Isn’t our individual confessions to God enough? God knew that if we tried to live life on our own we would fail. The humility and vulnerability it takes to reveal our weakness to one another, and the humility it takes not to overpower or control one when they have exposed their weakness brings healing to our souls. God covers the rest.
God made it so we carry one another. So many struggle in their faith because we miss this. We miss the second part of our worship which is to remember that we belong to Him, but we also belong to each other.
Worship is being brave enough to allow God to wash our feet. To accept his brokenness for us. Worship is also washing one another’s feet. Laying our lives down for one another. When we do this, there is no chance for racism, prejudice, indifference and bullying to survive.
This kind of worship changes the atmosphere.