“After that He poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet …” John 13:5
I wonder if anyone in our day and age really understands the concept of service. Does anyone really grasp the meaning of what it is to serve another? If you’ve recently gone to a fast-food restaurant or a big box store or any consumer outlet where things are acquired, purchased or eaten, you know what I mean. The lack of good customer service drives me away from some establishments regardless of how cheap their prices are.
I remember when one of my daughters, who was a teenager at the time, was working her first job in a national fast-food chain, and how much the idea of good customer service rang out to me by what I witnessed there. At this establishment where she worked, they would take servicing the customer very seriously. If it was raining outside, some of the employees were on post at the front door, umbrellas in hand, waiting to assist patrons to and from their cars who didn’t have one. This company did many small things and details that let people know that they mattered to them and they were important.
Although things like this are considered uncommon in our day, what those employees did really spoke to the fact that they were at that place of employment to work according to that company’s standards. Every day they were urged to step outside of themselves to assist others. Oh, if more would catch on to this concept! But, the infectious, self-serving mentality, which permeates this world’s culture doesn’t allow people to see or even consider others over themselves.
That is far from the teaching Jesus laid out for those who would follow Him. He has given us many examples to follow but the one that really sticks out to me is Jesus stooping to the level of the lowliest servant in the house and performing duties that were detested by all in that day, “He began to wash the disciples’ feet.” Can you imagine what those feet must have looked like after walking many miles in sandals? Can you imagine what they must have smelled like? Yet, He took a towel and wrapped it around His waist, took feet in hand and began to carefully administer this duty to them.
We all know that Jesus always considered and worked for the betterment of those around Him. He did this to the point of laying His life down on the cross for the sins of the world. But, what Jesus showed them on this occasion, was a one on one lesson with those who would be responsible for carrying the gospel to the world. He showed them that there are everyday occurrences where one can serve, where one can put another before themselves.
We are so thankful for the many areas of missionary work that go on throughout the world. Those who render themselves to such service are able to reach the unreachable and set up foundations for Christ in far off lands. But every day, right where you are, there are opportunities to let the love of Christ shine in this dark world. The world is already used to seeing the inconsiderate side of man, so now it’s time for the church to rise up and show them the loving side of God. How? Through our service to them. Through everyday occurrences where you show somebody that you value them. Oh, how would that make them feel? I’ll tell you. It would make them feel loved!
It makes people feel as if they matter also. That someone cares enough to let them go first in line, or take your right-of-way in traffic. These are little things – but, can I tell you, little things done in great numbers make a great impact. If each of us would show the character of Christ’s service and stop placing so much focus on other things, I think we could make a tangible difference in this world. It would still be an infectious cycle. Instead of the world’s disease permeating the church, the church could infect the world and really show them how much Christ loves them.