Daily Devotion 23 March 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.
‘Jesus Washing of the Feet’
by Ghislaine Howard Acrylic on canvas
John 13:2-9 ‘Jesus Washes Peter’s Feet’

2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 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.

Jesus has already experienced being on the receiving end of inhospitality. At Simon the Pharisees house he complains about the ‘welcome’ he received: “Then turning towards the woman, he said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair” (Luke 7:44). The one who has been so often criticised, avoided, told to be quiet or to leave town in the Fourth Gospel, is shown to be the one from whom we must all receive. Jyoti Sahi’s work shows Jesus and Peter both encased in the candlelight from the lamp in the foreground. Curiously Peter has the purple robe – perhaps suggesting Peter’s future strength and leadership? The light – from Jesus Christ as Servant King – surrounds them.

We are beginning a time of great uncertainty, confusion, and anxieties abound. Events are taking place affecting our health, our town, the country, God’s world, God’s church. During the unfolding events, we must allow ourselves to receive from God all that we will need to sustain us in these unprecedented times. We may need patience and endurance; compassion for our neighbour or wisdom to perceive the need of others. We certainly need God’s light when we feel anxiety, stress: the hope that comes from a God who kneels at the feet of a handful of flawed followers, and ministers to them.

Loving God,
If we are ill, strengthen us; if we are tired, fortify our spirits.
If we are anxious, help us to consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.
Help us not to stockpile treasures from supermarkets in the barns of our larders!
Don’t let fear cause us to overlook the needs of others more vulnerable than us.
Fix our eyes on your story and our hearts on your grace, and help us always to hold fast to the good and see the good in others.
May we remember there is just one world, one hope, one everlasting love.
In Jesus we make our prayer, the one who suffered, died and was raised to new life, in whom we trust, these days and all days. Amen.

Image is from The Methodist Modern Art Collection, HOWA /2004 , Image Copyright © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes, The Methodist Church Registered Charity no. 1132208.
Reflection by Rev. Paul Tabraham © 2020.
Prayer (adapted) by Rev. Barbara Glasson.
A printable version of this Daily Devotional can be downloaded from here

All material within this order of worship is reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356