A Blessed Life

Nearing his final Passover, Jesus takes the basin and towel and bending his knee he blesses his beloved disciples as he washes their feet. One by one. In Hebrew the word for bless is BRK (Barak) and it literally means to bend the knee. This week as you pause to pray, you might listen for where God is inviting you to bend your knee to receive or to serve. They go together in living a blessed life.

John 13:1-17 (NLT)
Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. 2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
9 Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”
10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet,[c] to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.
•  13:1 Or he showed them the full extent of his love.

For Reflection and Prayer:
Was there a word, phrase or image which caught your attention you as you listened to or slowly read the text? Quietly reflect on it in your prayer with Jesus. Journal your conversation.

Place yourself into this scene. Who are you? What feelings and thoughts are going on inside of you as this scene unfolds? Talk it over with Jesus in your prayer.

Where have you or long to experience Jesus loving you in such a humble way? Journal about that experience or your longing.

Savor any consoling words or pictures as you quietly rest in God.

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On Our Way...With Jesus Leading The Way

Jesus and his disciples are embarking on their last trip to Jerusalem. A conversation unfolds between them as they journey together.  It is a raw conversation, full of unedited honesty. The disciples must have felt quite loved and comfortable with Jesus to say out loud what they were thinking in their hearts. From a distance, it is easy to judge these disciples as self centered and absorbed and certainly we can see ourselves in them. Yet, Jesus meets each of them in their disconnect and models the wisdom of true servant leadership. He understands that radical honesty is where transformation can begin.

Jesus, our servant leader, journeys with us, tenderly takes us aside, reveals what is to happen (most often, as it is happening), invites us to ask for what we want and calls us together when we are offended by one another. Every action Jesus takes is serving our own transformation into his likeness and building his Kingdom here on earth. He invites us to serve alongside with him.

Listen in on the conversation...

Mark 10: 32-45 (NIV)
They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
39 “We can,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

For Reflection and Prayer:
As you listened to or read the text, was there a word, phrase or image which stayed with you?  Be still with them for a while. Ask Jesus about them. Is there more that Jesus says to you?

What do you want Jesus to do for you? What is underneath your desire? Jesus longs for you to know your own heart as well as his heart. How are they intertwined? Have a conversation with Jesus about it.

How have you experienced being served by Jesus? By others? How might Jesus be inviting you to serve with him in this season?

How is Jesus leading you today? How is he collectively leading those who you are with in Christian community together? What is your prayer as you seek to follow his lead?