“…and called out in a loud voice, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Luke 17:13
I know we are very aware and thankful when really good things happen to us. When it’s birthday time and there are gifts and surprises, the “older” one is very grateful. When we’re stuck in a broken down vehicle and someone stops to help, we are very thankful.
But our God watches over us everyday. Not that this offers invincible protection but rather that He sees our works, appreciates our faith and completes His will through our service. Whilst we do appreciate His blessings and unexpected gifts, sometimes the smaller things escape our notice. At times, we become too self-involved or busy with “important” tasks and take for granted the mercies given to us.
The ten lepers in Luke’s biography of Jesus unanimously pleaded for mercy, both Jew and Samaritan. Jesus healed them all but only one, a man unacceptable to the Jews, made the effort to find Christ and thank Him, glorifying God, falling at his feet in humbleness. The healed Samaritan didn’t care if his praise of Christ was politically correct, socially acceptable or personally embarrassing. He had been healed: “PRAISE GOD!”
Part of our daily countenance should reflect our Master’s glory. It is like prayer, feeding on the Word, encouraging others and laboring for Jesus. The world needs to see that Christ matters in our lives because we always glorify Him under any and all circumstances!
We also have been healed: PRAISE GOD!!
“Since I, your Lord and Teacher, washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.” John 13:14 (New English Bible)
I often wondered about this incident in John’s gospel. The men gathered with Jesus were followers of their Lord for about three years. I would’ve thought that after seeing Christ’s miracles and hearing His teaching, they would’ve been more acceptable servants of one another.
Yet, Jesus Himself did the foot washing. Why? What was stopping them from doing such a simple courtesy that any house servant would’ve done for any guests entering a household?
I think the fact of the matter was that they were incapable. James and John had tried to jump ahead of the rest when their mother asked Jesus to place one on His right and the other on His left. Matthew was a custom’s official, collecting road taxes and Simon the Zealot belonged to a fringe rebel group who stabbed Roman soldiers and those who collaborated with them. Peter apprently opened his mouth to change feet. And so on, around the group.
It makes me wonder what I would be unwilling to do for my Lord because of my pride or personal distaste. Maybe I’d be just as guilty as they were.
We are all servants of the King. We live for Him. We live to do His Will daily. We live to complete our assigned tasks.
We wash feet.
An elder in one of the Boland congregations (a rural church) is upset by the lack of effort by fellow Christians to restore the Day of Pentecost as an official religious observance. Under the old regime in South Africa, Pentecost was a recognized public holiday and retail stores, cinemas, etc were closed. But with the new government, Pentecost was done away with, along with other holidays.
The elder is very disturbed that the “birthday of the church” isn’t celebrated by anyone anymore. He wants to begin a public action protest to force the government to re-instate Pentecost, or at the very least, convince Christians to take the day off work as if it was a recognized public break!
I’ve tried explaining to him that Christians have no religious holidays. Every day is a holy day. Every day we remember Christ’s sacrifice. Every day is a day to serve our King. Every day is our spiritual feast day. We are not bound by “special days” and are free to worship, praise, pray, serve and use Christ’s compassion for others each and every day of the week!
“So, don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or a religious festival, or the new moon holiday, or sabbaths. These are only a shadow of the future; CHRIST IS REALITY!” Col 2:16-17 (Simple English Bible, emphasis mine.)
So, today, like all other days, I am celebrating the birth of the church, the sacrifice of Jesus and my service to our God.