4-9-2020 Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday Service Welcome: Welcome to the pastor’s dining room and our special Maundy Thursday Service. Reading of the Text: John 13.1-17 Footwashing: John tells us that on Maundy Thursday, the night before Jesus arrest that Jesus got up from the table laid aside his garments and girded himself with a towel. He then took water and began to wash the disciples’ feet. Here in just a moment I am going to wash my son Daniel’s feet. Sometimes people will ask why do Free Will Baptists wash feet? The primary reason is because our Lord said, “If I your Lord and Master have washed your feet, you also are obligated to wash one another’s feet,” and also “now that you know these things you will be blessed if you do them.” But beyond that, the practice of Footwashing is rich in symbolic meaning. I will not take time to explain everyone one of these meanings, but one I will emphasize is that Footwashing teaches us that the Christian life is a life of service, love and humility. Jesus is our Lord and Master, and yet he humbled himself and became our servant (cf. Phil 2.6). Our Lord washed our feet, but he also served us by offering up his life as a sacrifice for our sins. He humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross (Phil 2.7). Then he said to us “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” Jesus’ life was an example of service that we are to follow. Footwashing reminds us that we are called to serve one another, that those who would be great among us must become a servant. In essence, when we wash someone’s feet we are making a physical promise to be that person’s servant. It takes humility in order to kneel before another person and wash their feet. But it also takes humility to serve another and to place their needs before our own desires. Jesus had to humble himself in order to take the form of a servant. He humbled himself so that he could serve us. Footwashing is a great reminder to us that we are not simply to serve one another, but we are to serve humbly just as Christ did. That great passage on Christ’s humility, Philippians 2.5-11, begins with a call for us to imitate his example, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Phil 2.5). When the Apostle John introduced the story of Christ washing his disciples feet, he said, Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. John 13.1b John tells us that Jesus’ act of washing his disciples feet was intended to be an act of his love. It was meant to be a demonstration of the completeness of his love for them. He didn’t simply love them to the end of his life, he loved them to the end meaning completely. This love fits perfectly with the Christ’s life of humble service. In order to serve someone as Christ did, humbly putting their needs before your own desires, requires love. Footwashing reminds us that we are not merely to humbly serve one another, but we are to love one another as Christ loved his church. We love because he first loved us. Footwashing reminds us that the Christian life is a life of humble, loving service. This is the example that Christ set for us with his life, and it is the life that he calls us to when we follow him. We are going to wash feet a little differently than we usually do. Since we are prevented from worshipping together this Maundy Thursday, we will be washing feet together as a family instead of with our church family this year. I’ll be washing Daniel’s feet as a demonstration of how we do this. Footwashing Demonstration: Closing: I know we are stuck at home, but I would encourage you as a family to participate in this act of remembrance and worship. Men act as the pastors of your own home, and wash the feet of your wife and your children. Let this simple act of service remind you that being the head of the household doesn’t mean that you are the king of the castle, but you are its chief servant. How our families might be different if we sought to humbly love and serve one another.