“Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.” John 13:1
Earlier this week, I mentioned that I was doing a YouVersion devotional on “authentic serving” This morning’s reading was the verse above. I love the final words of that sentence “and now he loved them to the very end.” This is the beginning of the chapter where Jesus washes his disciples feet.
The commentary had this to say: “If you’re faithful in service, you don’t give up. You just keep on doing the things God called you to do.” It goes on to point out that the Passover, in terms of busyness and importance, was like Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s all rolled into one. Jesus had mentioned six times in the gospels that his time had not yet come. NOW, his time had come and what do we see him doing? During a time when Jesus had every reason in the world to be distracted or to look solely after himself, he chooses to wash the feet of his disciples instead.
Snow Apocalypse took place in North Georgia yesterday, which means we received about 1 1/2 inches of snow. We’d had many false alarms over the last couple of weeks so the snow that showed up yesterday caught everyone a little unprepared. It began snowing around 10:00am and shortly after that I get a text alerting me that school would be letting out at 11:30am. This is my first winter in Georgia and in hill country. I’ve had a little experience driving on flat roads and snow back in NC but no experience driving on hills.
There are only two ways out of my neighborhood and both ways involve steep hills. As I drove towards these hill, I saw people walking along the road. I stopped and asked a lady if they had not been able to make it up the hill. She told me that they hadn’t even tried because there was a delivery truck stuck at the bottom. This should have been a red flag for me, but I had to get to my son.
As I crested the hill, I knew I was in trouble. My brakes on the slippery road were not doing what brakes normally do (stop you) and the large truck at the bottom of the road was actually stuck on my side of the road. I had a choice to make at that moment. Do I continue slipping down the hill and take the chance of hitting the truck at the bottom of the hill or do I choose to put my car in a ditch? The ditch option seemed like a softer option than the hunk of metal option waiting for me at the bottom.
After exiting my car and falling on my butt twice trying to make it the rest of the way down the hill, I reached the main road. I had another choice to make. Do I walk to the school which was only a little over a mile away (not horribly far but I was already getting cold) or do I hitch a ride? My thumb went up in the air as the next vehicle approached me. The gentleman in the car stopped. He had just picked his brother up from the high school. His brother climbed in back seat and I hopped in the front.
To make my long adventure a tad shorter, I’ll tell you that I witnessed “authentic serving” in action for the next 45 minutes. A stranger took me to my son’s school, volunteered to wait for me to collect my son, and then took us all the way home. Thankfully, he had an SUV that could easily make it over the slippery hills. On the way home, he asked me if I would mind if he stopped to help another individual who had gotten stuck trying to tackle a hill. I told him I didn’t mind at all. At some point during our conversations, he also asked me if I attended a local church. I told him I did and we swapped the names of those churches.
After he dropped my son and I off, his plan was to head back down the hill to help others. He told his brother, “we have until 1:00pm before we need to be anywhere else, we might as well help more people.” As I read the above verse this morning, I couldn’t help but think of this good Samaritan. The stranger had until 1:00pm. His choice was to reach out and help folks until that time had come.
As we walked into our house, my son asked if I was playing my music in the man’s car. I smiled and told him no. The stranger had his radio dial set to a Christian radio station and many of the tunes were familiar. I will some times have that type of music playing in our car too.
I share this story because it was a perfect example of an individual who was living out his faith. The Christian music playing and the fact that he went to a local church really are completely beside the point here. He could have been playing country music or 80s music. I mention it only because, yesterday, this man’s actions matched his message.
Yesterday, was the “end of the world” for Southern people who have no idea how to function in 1 inch of snow and the man that I encountered…he had until 1:00pm. And his plan was to do whatever he could do to help until his time had come… his plan was to keep washing the feet of strangers who were stranded along the road.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9