John 13:4-5 – 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 round him. (NIV)
This powerful image of Jesus during the Last Supper emphasizes the importance of humble service. Despite Jesus' position as God's only Son and his sacrificial role in establishing our salvation, he shows again and again, in his words and actions, that our love of God and neighbour must be borne out in action and that that action will take the form of humble service. In his death and resurrection, Jesus has washed all of us, unworthy sinners that we are, free of our sins.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is a humorous work of science fiction that has been enjoyed by many readers. In it, Adams says that "A towel … is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have." He goes on to list the many "practical" uses of a towel. For me, as a Christian, a metaphorical towel is, indeed, one of the "most massively useful" things I have as I try to follow Christ's example and live a life of humble service to others.
Prayer Lord, help us to follow Christ's example and show our love for you and for our neighbours by living, with our towels wrapped around our waists, in humble service to each other. We thank you for your saving grace. Through Christ, we pray. Amen.