Listen to this devotional:
John 13:4-5 – So [Jesus] 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. (NIV)
My mother loved clothes and dressing up. On Sundays, when she attended church, she wore a hat, high heels, gloves, and the finest dresses she could afford. Wearing her finest to church was a symbol to her, to show honour and respect to the heavenly Father she worshipped.
Her motives had nothing to do with showing off her finery, but rather with showing respect to the finest in her life, her Saviour. "Give of your best to the Master" was her motto, and wearing the best she had to church for worship was an outward symbol of what she believed in her heart.
When we arrived back home after church, she had another symbol. She replaced all those fine clothes with work clothes and covered them with an apron — her symbol of loving, humble service to her family. She served the meal, prepared earlier while we were still sleeping. She had been concerned about our needs before she went to church.
There was much more to my mother's life than being a servant, but caring for her family was a vital part of life. Jesus' ministry was much broader than His servant role as a "foot washer", but He demonstrated to His disciples and to us that no role was beneath Him.
What are some of our symbols today? Our symbols may be misunderstood, just as the younger generation today misunderstands my mother's symbol in wearing her best clothing to worship the one who came first in her life. Symbols are often misunderstood, but motives of the heart are known to our heavenly Father.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for washing the disciples' feet. Thank You for loving the humble and daily tasks we do in Your service for our families and others. Thank You for valuing us based on what's in our hearts, rather than on the social status around us. Amen.