Archive for March 8th, 2007


Thursday, March 8th, 2007

Today’s scripture: John 13:1-17 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Tom Chittenden):

Let’s imagine for the last three or so years you had developed a close and intimate relationship with a dozen or so men and/or women. You shared quality and quantity time with them traveling, eating, praying, learning and participating in many phenomenal, if not miraculous, events. You were a family. You could and did express your compassion and love for each other. Near the end of that three year period it was revealed that one of them was planning to betray you in a devistating way. What would you do?

Among the dozen is one who was the first to speak up in your defense when the others became cynical, defensive, or lost focus. He or she was the one you could always count on to be right there with you every step of the way — solid as a rock! Through an incredible turn of events, you intuitively know that your rock solid companion for the past three years will very soon flat out deny he or she even knows who you are. What would you do?

Even though your closest of life companions all know that you are not guilty of anything wrong, you also intuitively know that no one — not one — will be found trying to reason with the authorities, trying to prove your innocence and secure your release. What would you do?

Charles Sheldon, in his book In His Steps, puts forth a very simple test question to those who seek to be regarded as disciples of Christ and are confronted with situations and circumstances that seeks a resolve beyond our ego-managed response. The question simply asks, in this moment, “What would Jesus do?” Of course, we’re all aware how that simple question has now been lifted from this book’s pages onto bumper stickers, billboards and wrist bands everywhere.

While we don’t always find resolution to our times of crisis and conflict by simply looking at our wrist bands, when it comes to the answers to the three scenes above, we don’t have to look any farther than verse 1 of today’s scripture. Jesus knew He would be betrayed by one of His disciples, disowned by another, and deserted by all of them for a time.

Still, “Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love.” This is what Jesus would do for His disciples. He set for us an example that yet today makes us uncomfortable, but in humbling ourselves to be as a servant, we receive the miracle, we receive the greater good, we receive the blessing of the matchless and amazing grace of our Loving Lord Jesus. Let it be so!

Thought and prayer for the day: Today, somewhere, someone has need of a man or woman wearing but a towel — a call for grace. God, help me to answer and walk in His steps!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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