Over the next couple of months we're going to be experimenting with some changes to the prayer guide. For this sermon series "Hindsight: How Easter brings clarity" we're going to try connecting the prayer guide to the Sunday messages. If you didn't get a chance to participate in the service, you can view all of our messages on our website.
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Scripture - John 13:1-17
1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
God calls us to be a cross-shaped (cruciform) community.
Jesus shows us what God is like, and while God is holy, mighty, and all powerful, He is also a servant. Jesus takes on the duties of a Gentile slave by washing the disciple's feet. This story shows us that it is in God's very nature to serve and love.
In our modern world it's tempting to think we're too good to do what love might require of us. That we don't have time to give someone the attention and presence that they deserve. Or that serving others in a way we're not used to is demeaning.
Our instincts are often wrong though.
That is why we seek to be shaped by the Spirit to take on the posture Jesus took on the cross.
Create some space to reflect on your life in God's presence. Sit with God and these questions to discern how God might be calling you to love the people in your life.
Where is Jesus asking you to wash feet?
- In your friendships?
- In your family?
- In your marriage?
- In your parenting?
- In your workplace?
- In your school?
- In our community?
Prayers of Petition
God invites us to cast our cares on him because he cares for us. God is all-together good, already knows what we need, and is eager to give us good things. So we don’t need to pray out of anxiety or fear, but confident trust. Spend a few minutes making your requests known to God.
- For the church
- For others
- For myself
Lord make me an instrument of Your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine master grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand.
To be loved, as to love.
For it's in giving that we receive
And it's in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it's in dying that we are born to eternal life.