feet covered in mud

Embrace the Dirt

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
(John 13:3-5)

Isn’t it a nice idea that we serve a God who acts as a servant? We like to talk about what Jesus taught but we struggle to actually carry out his practical instruction to serve others. It’s much easier to hold Jesus up as the ideal servant. It’s far more demanding to tangibly serve our fellow sister or brother. Jesus will not allow us to intellectualize this “nice” teaching. Jesus demonstrated what we ought to do by physically washing his disciples’ feet.

To follow Christ is to embrace the dirt, and to abandon our privilege.

Of course, there are ways we can “wash one another’s feet” without literally doing so. Christian discipleship is not limited to any single vocation.

The need for a good foot-washing upon entering someone’s home is no longer necessary, at least in our context. Can you think of some other ways that you can wash someone else’s feet without literally do so? Whenever we place the needs of others ahead of our needs we are following the way of Jesus. Remember those poignant words, “he [Jesus] made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant.” Remember to follow Jesus in this way as we strive to be “The Hand of God in the Heart of the City.”

Alex Macleod
Chaplain, The Gateway



Lord Jesus,

Thank you for showing us what it means to be a servant.

May we recognize the opportunities to serve our neighbors, our residents, our coworkers, and our enemies this week.

Please continue to remind us of how you served us in the ultimate act of servanthood by emptying yourself and enduring the cross.

May we be moved to gratitude when we reflect on your sacrifice.

Thank you that you are alive and moving us to serve in the same fashion today.


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