Today is Holy Thursday.
The evening Jesus ate the Passover Meal with his best friends.
The night he went to the garden and agonized over what was yet to come.
And a night spent in deep prayer.
Over the past four weeks, we as a church have worshiped together virtually. This Sunday, Easter, will be our 5th week. Over the past month, your staff has been diligently praying . . . for those in the workforce working in perilous circumstances, for the leaders of our country/world, for those impacted by COVID-19.
Last night in a virtual staff meeting we prayed for you.
We have heard your stories and know that you are truly living as a people of faith in uncertain, adverse times. So many have lost jobs, reduced salaries, and are living in complete uncertainty of what is yet to come.
One of the things Jesus did that left such an impact on humanity was before he participated in the Passover Meal with his best friends, he knelt and washed their feet.
They were appalled . . . how could he? Their master . . . their savior . . . their leader. . . kneel and wash their feet?
Peter, one of the disciples, even told him, “No way! You aren’t washing my feet!!!” Yet, Jesus did it anyway. He showed that to be at one with the Kingdom of Heaven/God, one must act in great love.
So today, on this Holy Thursday, your staff and I want to share with you that because we are all in this together, we are taking salary reductions of 10 – 20% for the next three months. It’s a small way that we can make a sacrifice for you. We will revisit this decision at the end of that time, in hopes that our economic situation as a country will show some hope/promise. Yet, we recognize the road to recovery is going to be a long one.
We love you. We are in this with you. And we have faith that God carries us THROUGH the valley . . . we are never in the darkness of the crucifixion alone.
The worst things are never the last things and the last things are the most beautiful things.
I look forward to our experiencing beautiful things together in the days and weeks to come.
Grace, Peace, and Love,
John 13:
1-2 Just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world to go to the Father. Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them right to the end. It was suppertime. The Devil by now had Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, firmly in his grip, all set for the betrayal.
3-6 Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Master, you wash my feet?”
7 Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.”
8 Peter persisted, “You’re not going to wash my feet—ever!”
Jesus said, “If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing.”
9 “Master!” said Peter. “Not only my feet, then. Wash my hands! Wash my head!”
10-12 Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene. So now you’re clean. But not every one of you.” (He knew who was betraying him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you.”) After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table.
12-17 Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.