Birthday Foot Washing

Last Sunday was my birthday. I completed my 42nd trip around the sun and began my 43rd. Woohoo. After 42 years my overall feeling is one of contentment and peace; but at the same time I can never shake an undercurrent of heaviness and sobriety about what the future holds. 
My birthday started when I woke up hearing my family sneaking around, trying to surprise me with some birthday breakfast. They might have gotten away with it, but the delicious bacon smell made their sneaking ineffective.
I got ready for church and came out of my room. When they saw me they all yelled at me and made me go back in my room for five more minutes. I smiled and did a little more getting ready. 
They made me a nice breakfast and each one gave me a homemade card. One of the cards read, “We love you, even when we are mad at you.” 
The next two items on the birthday agenda were preaching and basketball. I love preaching God’s word, but sometimes the frequency and pressure causes me to forget how much I love it. I also really love basketball. Basketball has been a good friend to me. Basketball provides me with exercise for my body, and a break for my mind, especially on the days I preach.
After basketball, my family went to Bucca Di Beppo for a birthday dinner and then headed back home. 
All day long I was thinking about the message I preached in the morning. What Jesus did with His disciples the night before He went to the cross was stirring in my soul. When Jesus passed out the bread and wine He was teaching His disciples two lessons at once. He was definitely letting them know that He was going to be crucified, but I really believe He was asking them to give their “body and blood” for the sake of others as well.

One of the reasons I know Jesus was teaching the second lesson is because, in three of the New Testament Gospel accounts—Matthew, Mark, and Luke—the focus is on the body and blood aspect of Jesus' last meal with His disciples. However, in the fourth Gospel account, John tells a different part of the story. John tells us that at the “Last Supper” Jesus began by washing all the disciples' feet. After washing their feet, Jesus tells His disciples that they should go and do the same for others. 
Compelled by all of this, I finished the day by washing my family's feet. I told them a little bit about John 13, and got a bucket of warm water and a wash cloth. They giggled a bit, and smiled a lot, but I think they really got the message that I would give body and blood for them. Then, when I finished, Brit said they all wanted to wash my feet. It felt like a moment of truly loving one another. It was a great gift. 

I am still chewing on the message of Jesus. A message powerfully supported by the example of His life and death. Jesus wants us to give our body and blood on behalf of others, just like He gave His body and blood for us. 
God bless you and yours as you love one another deeply,