Monday, 19 May 2014

Simon Peter and I

I was initially going to call this Peter and I but I know this one guy named Peter, actually I know more than one, and I don't need any of them getting ahead of themselves. Anyway, this morning at Church, Lefkosa Protestant Church [Pronounced Lefkosha Protestant Kilesi in Turkish], I heard a sermon on The humility of Christ and the lessons we can learn there from. It was by a man whose last name was Heaps and his Pastor, back in the UK, thats where he was from, is of the last name Mountain. What are the odds of that, I still cant load that. Anyway Mr. Heaps was speaking from the passage in John 13 where Jesus washes his disciples feet and this in a nut shell is what I got from it.

In those days when one would move in sandals it would be necessary to have ones feet washed upon arrival at someones place of resident, whether yours or otherwise. It is fairly safe to assume that up until the point Jesus started to wash his disciples feet their feet had not been washed. So it must have been quite the shock when Jesus decided to wash their feet. According to Mr. Heaps, and I agree, "This was the greatest show of humility that has ever been seen on Earth, the son of God washing the feet of men" That was quite a staggering thought for me. 

I have often pictured and painted a picture, especially during evangelism, of the most powerful man on earth, lets say the USA president or even the richest man in the world, going to the worst slum in the worst place on earth and finding the most filthy, sick man and the two relating like brothers. Sharing food, the occasional hug, talking about their lives etc. All this would seem strange to me and to some of the people I would tell but these are just men, even in examples they are just men. Here we have the son of God, God himself cleaning the feet of men who had little or nothing to their name, cleaning his followers feet. In the words of a song I like, It causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. The thought is staggering.

Imagine the two walking, sitting, eating together. That has nothing on Jesus washing his disciples feet

Then in comes Peter, bible Peter not the other guy. See Peter is like me, we often talk too much when we should listen and often speak too little when we should talk. This here was a typical Mwansa moment. Jesus offers to clean Peters feet and first Peter tries to stop him and say it is he who should clean Jesus feet. The thought was right, just misplaced. I sometimes see Peter as a suck up, but that's just me. After Jesus tells him that this is the way things should be, Peter goes in for another extreme, telling Jesus, in that case don't just wash my feet but the whole body. in my mind I imagine Jesus give a small smile, the way you smile at a child who doesn't get the point. In hindsight I have pictured that smile on his face soooo many times in my lifetime.

Jesus then gives brief but weighty statement. Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean ..." I had read this countless times and heard it read even more but I had never understood it till today. Peter didn't get it the first time either because he much like me was probably thinking of what to say next or trying to suck up, that's just my thinking by the way. The meaning, or at least one of them, has reference to salvation. It speaks of how we are saved once, we are washed bodily once but during our walk, almost literally, I'm getting tingles by the way, our feet get dirty and we need to constantly look to God to cleanse us.

As we walk our feet will get dirty, there's no two ways about it. We must never be ashamed to get that cleaning of the feet

Speaking as one who falls more often than the next guy this was music to my ears. It was the soft playing of the oboe on a still night with the stars up above. The soft rustle of the leaves in the trees and a bird tweeting in the background. It was that kind of clarity. So often I fall and I feel like a disgrace to the uniform, if you will. I feel as though if I show up to meet with the lord he will turn me away cos my feet have been in disgraceful places. But here I see that not only will he let me in but there will be cleansing for my feet as well. What love is this, that God would continue to look in love upon me a sinner.

I feel like I should stop writing here because this has been enough but it was not enough for Mr. Heaps and so I too must give you all that I got from him like he gave all that he got from his study. The last thing I got was the humility of Christ. The very action of him washing his disciples feet is so staggering. No task in the kingdom of God is below our rank. We must do all we can in whatever capacity we can. The hand cannot speak but it can carry. The head cannot walk but it can learn and guide. Do all you can with the humility that Christ showed.

I left Church with a lot to think about and I am still thinking it over, I just hope that you will too