As this is the first Sunday of the month we will be celebrating the sacrament of Communion this week.
A reminder that the Annual Congregational Meeting will happen immediately following worship. Lunch and child care are being provided.
The Scripture readings for this week are:
The Sermon title is As One That Serves
Early Thoughts: Servant-leadership. That is what Christ models for us and that is what we are called to practice.
But what exactly does that mean? Does it mean washing feet?
Maybe. In Jesus' era footwashing was a basic part of entering a dwelling. Often (perhaps most often) the host would ensure that the basin and pitcher were available and the individual would wash their own feet. Sometimes a slave (almost always a female slave apparently) would do the actual washing. But a free-man would never wash another person's feet. Certainly the Teacher/Leader would not wash the feet of the Student/Follower. But that is what Jesus does, over the strenuous objections of Peter.
One possibility is it is an act of devotion, a way to show how deeply he cares for these people (and washing another's body is a deeply intimate action). Just a chapter earlier in John's Gospel we had the story of Mary pouring perfume over the feet of Jesus and wiping those feet with her hair (it is Judas who objects that time). This is a clear act of devotion. Maybe Jesus is modelling love and devotion here as well.
But then we remember that Jesus consistently points out that in the Kingdom of God reversals are the rule. The last will be first. Come like a small child. In Luke's Gospel Jesus makes it plain that while he may be the Teacher, maybe even the Anointed One of God, he is among them as one that serves. To love others as we love ourselves, to love each other as we have been loved by God, is to serve each other. That is the way we lead each other into the deepest understanding of Kingdom-living.
TO a degree the church has always known this. In fact the National United Church Men's Organization takes it's name from this Luke Passage -- As One That Serves.
Jesus is many things. Sometimes he is an agitator (though that may well be a form of servanthood). Sometimes he is a teacher. Sometimes he is a healer. Sometimes a preacher and truth-teller. But at all times he is a lover, one who loves God and one who loves the people who surround him. And at all times he is serving. Serving God, serving the best interests of the world that God loves.
Because to lead is to serve, to serve is to lead. At least in God's Kingdom.
How do you lead? How do you serve? What is your brand of servant leadership?