Love me tender
John 3 : 16
Darkness had fallen, and with it a silence over the city broken only by the barking of dogs and the occasional scuff of hurrying sandals. In the house the children went reluctantly to bed - it was time for adult conversation – but as Mary moved between the men to clear the plates, someone knocked at the door. A cautious knock, she thought. Low voices in the outer room made them all uneasy, and they exchanged glances till Peter emerged followed by, of all people, the Pharisee Nicodemus.
He had come to speak with the Master of course, but from their conversation, Mary had no idea why, or whether he found what he was looking for. He posed questions, and Jesus answered, but it was as though the Master was pre-occupied with particular ideas; thinking aloud rather than debating with his visitor. She saw the room fall quiet, other conversations stall, each head turn gradually to Jesus.
He paused, and looked round the room, studying the faces, “For God so loved the world,” he said, “that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life. God did not send his son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.”
As he spoke, Mary’s heartbeat throbbed in her ears; she caught her breath. ‘What does he mean ?’ she thought, ‘Is he ready to tell all Jerusalem who he is ? Shall I see the Messiah crowned king ?’
Her mind spun on as she poured the wine for them, catching his words in snatches. She felt elated, excited, at the centre of things. What had he said . . . everyone who believes in him will not perish . . . not condemn the world but save it ?
‘At last,’ she thought, ‘This amazing man who has changed my life, will change everyone’s lives. What will he do next ?’
Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God, so he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them with the towel he had around him.
Status, Lord, what’s that all about ?
Titles in front of your name, letters after it,
promotion at work . . . or not . . .
the wrong accent, the wrong clothes,
the wrong address.
You seemed to turn it all on its head
that day – kneeling on the floor among the smelly feet.
Show me how to do that, Lord – to look at life
and see where something is needed
and to simply do it : Love actually
Almighty God, remind me that your kingdom doesn’t run on this world’s values –
success and money and power don’t impress you, unless
they are used to serve.
Lead me to where I can take up the towel today, Lord,
to put false pride aside and enjoy being a servant,
written by Fiona Campbell