The Smallest of Tasks
"Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you."
At soccer practice, it was always understood that the freshmen were the ones who would always help clean up by collecting soccer balls, cones and pennies. That’s just what they were supposed to do, kind of like a rite of passage.
After long practices, it always seemed like nobody wanted to collect the sweaty pennies or run all the way to the far corners of the muddy field to collect the balls and cones. Then, one day, our coach gave the freshmen a break and asked the older players to help pack up. We looked around, thinking it was a joke. This wasn’t our job! Why should we be stooping so low? We were above the task. In reality, it seemed we were looking after our own interests, and not the interests of the entire team.
Before the Last Supper, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. It was an act always done by servants or slaves. This act was so low that Peter even demands at first that Jesus not wash his feet. After washing, though, Jesus commanded them (and us) that, just as He had served them, they were to serve others.
Jesus has set the example that, no matter how basic the task, we should be willing to serve others at all times, even when it means getting our hands dirty. Jesus always dealt with tax collectors, the crippled, the lepers—the “dirtiest” of people—but we often think that these interactions are beneath us. We are naturally selfish creatures, and it takes work to put others above ourselves, but sometimes it is the lowest and most humbling of our actions that best show the love we have for others. Today, think about how you can serve and love others today, even if it means humbling yourself.
1. Are there people in your life that you have trouble serving?
2. Is pride getting in the way of your allowing someone to serve you?
3. How can you serve others today?