Monday, April 20, 2015

Washing Feet

Living in Niger gives one a new perspective on what it might have been like to live during Bible times.  Sand, dust, dirty feet, camels, market, donkey carts.  I read scripture in a new light.  This past week, my second graders and I did a reader's theater using the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet (John 13:1-17).  And let me tell you, after having lived in Niger for 8 months, I have a new appreciation for what Jesus did.  By the end of the day, my feet are filthy!

Before reading the passage, we discussed the setting.  Jesus and his disciples are celebrating Passover, a holiday to remember when the Israelites were saved from the angel of death who would "pass over" a house if they used lamb's blood on the doorpost.  Jesus and the Twelve are eating and lounging when Jesus takes off his robe to wash his disciples' feet.  What?  Jesus, King of Kings, doing the job of a servant!  When he gets to Peter, Peter refuses to let Jesus wash his feet.

Jesus said, "Unless I wash you, you will not belong to me."

I asked my students, "Why do you think we need Jesus to wash our feet in order to belong to him?"  I was blown away by their answers:

"Jesus is in Heaven and Heaven is clean.  We cannot come to Him unless we are clean too."

"During the Passover, they used a lamb's blood to save them from the angel of death...kind of like how Jesus washes us to save us."

"Jesus died to wash us clean."

What deep spiritual insight from such little ones.  I learn from them everyday.

I passed out mustard seeds the other day (you'd think I was passing out pounds of candy - they were ecstatic!).  We observed just how small it is in our hand.  Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move."  (Matthew 17:20).  My faith seems small compared to the faith of some of these second graders.  What beautiful, child-like trust they have.  I want to be more like that.

God, increase my faith.

"Immediately the boy's father exclaimed,
 'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!'"  Mark 9:24

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