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Sermon Excerpt (Maundy Thursday): To Serve and Be Served Jn 13:1-17 Karen  Goltz

It seems like such a noble calling, doesn’t it? “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” We know we fall short of showing that kind of love sometimes, but it seems like for the most part we can take pride in the love we do show. Look at all we do for others. Look at all we sacrifice in the name of Christ. How many other things can we be doing at this moment, rather than sitting in church on a Thursday night? Or on Sunday mornings? This congregation right now is in a state of flux and turmoil. Look at all you’re doing just to keep it going, to move forward, to continue to be church. Surely that’s the kind of love that Jesus was talking about!

And you’re right. It is. There’s a lot of self-sacrifice going on here in the name of Christ. There are a lot of you taking on the role of servant, ready to wash the feet of your fellow disciples, just as Christ said you should.

But how many of you are willing to have your own feet washed?

That seems like a much less noble calling, doesn’t it? Sure, it’s easy to accept the humiliation of serving, because we know it’s better to give than to receive, and we know that Christ calls us to serve one another. So we can be the noble servant. But how easy is it to accept the humiliation of being served? What do we tell ourselves then? How can we feel noble when we’re watching someone humiliate themselves for our sake, doing something for us that we’re perfectly capable of doing for ourselves? After all, Jesus never had his feet washed, did he?
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