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Lent reflection Cover Image

The Servant, John 13:1-17

31st Mar 2019

1 Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. (NRSV)

Today's reflection includes an audio clip - please adjust your headset or speakers before listening.

This is a poem by Roger McGough

I wanna be the leader
I wanna be the leader
Can I be the leader?
Can I? I can?
Promise? Promise?
Yippee I'm the leader
I'm the leader

Now what shall we do?

Leadership is about relationships not about power or position.

To truly lead we also need to truly serve.

From my work in leadership development it has become increasingly noticeable to me that leadership and ‘servantship’ (I’ve just made that word up) are opposite sides of the same coin and to be a good leader we need to be a good servant and to be a good servant we need to be a good leader – a coin has usually got some value and we can’t have one side without the other – we need both sides to have the coin.

We are all Leaders in some aspect of life.

Here we have an example of Jesus, the beloved Son of God, our Lord of Lord and King of Kings . . . as a humble servant, washing the feet of his disciples.

Verse 14-17: “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”

I pray that today you will be “blessed if you do them”.

Marjory Mair, St John's Consultant