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The Journey

Dirty Hands and Smelly Feet

Scripture: John 13:1-17, 31b-35

This week has been rough. The store I work at was having their annual inventory. I don’t know why they had it this week of all weeks, but as a result I had the opportunity to work massive amounts of overtime! Now I am being a bit sarcastic at this point, I did not want to work the equivalent of seven and a half days in the window of five but those were the cards I was dealt.

After working a double shift and crawling into bed at two in the morning I noticed a strange aroma radiating from my feet, and my hands were black. I then crawled to the bathroom to wash up. This passage today, although usually read on the Thursday of Holy Week, made me stop to think about things in a different light. I moved away from my loved when I removed my shoes because I did not want my wife to get sick. Yet Jesus got down on His knees and washed the nastiness off His friends. I cannot imagine what was on their feet, mine were bad enough.

But that is not the issue. It is just my initial thoughts. Peter argues with His teacher saying you will never wash my feet. I seem to agree with Peter, I would not want anyone let alone the person I respect the most bending their nose that close to my feet after working all day. Jesus responds by saying if you don’t let me wash your feet you will have nothing to do with me. Can you imagine this? Not only having your mentor asking to smell and touch your feet, but then getting told you are out of my group if you refuse. Peter of course says not my feet but everything else. I can imagine he probably had himself half undressed before the words were out of his mouth, which could have been awkward.

Jesus needs to wash us, He cleanses our bodies through His sacrifice on the cross but there is still some dirtiness to deal with. Some may say, no this is wrong, once you are saved you are saved for good. That may be true, but are you clean, do your feet stink? I looked down at my hands several times today during my shift, they are covered with dirt, paint, even a little blood from paper cuts. Am I good enough to eat a feast? No I washed my hands before I went to lunch, in fact my stomach gets upset even thinking about eating without washing the dirt of work off.

We are in communion with God when we enter prayer and worship. We are feasting with God. How are you going to walk into that time? During the course of the day I examine myself. I consider if I have been reflecting the Christ to others. For the most part yes I have been very encouraging, but there were a few times I may have said some thing, though not really wrong, were not very encouraging or uplifting. They were not sinful in the sense of cursing someone, but I did not respect or honor them as an individual loved by God. My hands are a bit dirty. I am for the most part clean but there is something about me that could use improvement. Jesus needs to wash my hands, before I can sit at His table. If I don’t let Him I would leave smudges on the table-cloth.

As you reflect on God’s grace today I encourage you to also let Jesus wash some of the dirt off you. Confess the areas of life improvement is needed and ask for the strength and wisdom to improve.

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About jwquaker

I’m sure everyone wants to know who I am…well if you are viewing this page you do. I’m Jared Warner and I am a pastor or minister recorded in the Evangelical Friends Church Mid America Yearly Meeting. To give a short introduction to the EFC-MA, it is a group of evangelical minded Friends in the Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado. We are also a part of the larger group called Evangelical Friends International, which as the name implies is an international group of Evangelical Friends. For many outside of the Friends or Quaker traditions you may ask what a recorded minister is: the short answer is that I have demistrated gifts of ministry that our Yearly Meeting has recorded in their minutes. To translate this into other terms I am an ordained pastor, but as Friends we believe that God ordaines and mankind can only record what God has already done. More about myself: I have a degree in crop science from Fort Hays State University, and a masters degree in Christian ministry from Friends University. Both of these universities are in Kansas. I lived most of my life in Kansas on a farm in the north central area, some may say the north west. I currently live and minister in the Kansas City, MO area and am a pastor in a programed Friends Meeting called Willow Creek Friends Church.

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Jared A. Warner

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