“Take Up the Cross”

March 22, 2015 To Follow and To Serve John 13:1-15

1 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. 2 It was suppertime. The Devil by now had Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, firmly in his grip, all set for the betrayal. 3 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. 4 So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. 6 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 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.” 11 (He knew who was betraying him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you.”) 12 After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table. 13 You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. 14 So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. 15 I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do

Each year we have foot washing in the Alley at our meal, and it is most touching to see volunteers clean the feet of our guests, whose feet or filthy and give them clean socks.

Each day as I give out countless socks to people I find appreciation. This week I would invite you to wash the feet of a homeless person, not literally, but symbolically, As you are walking on the street, and someone asks you for money simply kneel down and talk, give them a candy bar or a sand which or simply talk.

Through the years I have simply served the people I encounter in my daily walk–by gving them of what I have, and I trust in the resurrection-that in all things God works for good. Find one person–feed them, talk to them, love them, and trust God.

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Labeling

As we begin this week I am reminded it is my birthday week. Every year people asked me my age, and I never give it to them; I have told reporters I am every age from 30 to 100. The reason I do not, is not that I am embarrassed, I frankly do not care, but that I do not like to be labeled, and boxed in. We label people by their ages, we label people by race, gender, sexual orientation, their jobs, rather than seeing them as unique individuals. Our labels from time immemorial destroy us.

In the summer time I get really dark from being out in the sun, and last year I was at a timeshare in Palm Springs by the pool, and a woman came out and told me to get her some stuff, and I looked at her and she said, “I expect the hired help to get up and wait on me without question, and you should not be laying around to begin with,” I dutifully got what she wanted. Later she saw me in clericals and I thought she was going to have a heart attack–we label people, and in that process we hurt people,

It is like I was referring to the undocumented people crossing our borders as “Illegal,” a friend pointed out to me how I was stereotyping them–the reality is they are people who are simply trying to find a better life, and rather than label, we should see how can help our brothers and sisters in that process. I am always examining how I label people, and I hope we all will. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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