Daily Devotion – March 22, 2020 – Pastor Brian Hansen
John 13: 12-16, 34-35
12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them.
34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The Bible passage above gives us a glimpse of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. In this passage we see Jesus doing something shocking and unimaginable to the disciples as he shows them how he wants them to live faith for the sake of their neighbors. In a small pamphlet called Freedom of a Christian, Martin Luther writes “A Treatise on Christian Liberty”, where he states, “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.” The seemingly paradoxical nature of this invitation invites us to consider how we are called be Christ to best serve each other.
As we all do our best to mitigate the risk of unintentionally spreading COVID-19 throughout our community, I am mindful of how we are called by Christ to love and care for our neighbor. During this past week, we have been encouraged to love and serve our neighbors by physically distancing ourselves from each other. Like Martin Luther’s words on our freedoms in Christ, this advice seems counter intuitive to how we typically think we are called by Christ to serve each other.
Even though we may be called to physically distance ourselves from each other, I believe we are also called to reach out to each other. Although reaching out to each other may not be able to happen face to face, I’d like to encourage us all to take the time to either call or write to each other (especially those who may be alone or at greater risk) during the next few days. A phone call or letter might provide a small sliver of sunshine into the homes and apartments and rooms of those who feel most cut off over the days, weeks, and maybe months ahead. I believe that we can and do make a difference through simple acts of love during times of great fear. So I invite you to join me in reaching out to a neighbor, a senior, or a friend whose day you could brighten by letting them know you were thinking about them.
Prayer: Gracious and loving God, in freedom you invite us to know that we are loved and to extend love to each other. May you guide our hearts and minds to reach out and to support each other during this time. May our love for you be shown in how we care for each other. May your spirit guide us to bring light and love into the homes of those we care for in Christ. AMEN