Holy Thursday – Jesus washes the feet of his disciples
Just before the time had arrived for Jesus Christ the Son of God to be betrayed by the vile Judas Iscariot, Jesus wanted to let his disciples know of what he wanted them to be doing both in words and action. This was a very important lesson in humility to the disciples and so should be to us especially around Holy Thursday.
Jesus Christ had so humbled Himself as to do the work of a servant for the disciples by washing their feet, to set an example of how they should love and serve each other. And this is relevant to us even today. Many a times in many Christian circles, there is a huge emphasis on helping people of other religions, especially the poor and needy. O how good to serve the poor. O how good to feed the hungry because you love the Lord your God. But does this charity also extend to our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ? Especially when Jesus told us to wash each others feet!
While its not wrong to help people of other religions, to cope up with their poverty and illness ,its not right to utterly neglect the people of our Christian community. I was horrified to learn once of a preacher who gave free food grains to the needy of other religions. But when a poor Christian woman asked this same preacher for some food, he mocked her, saying that since she is a Christian, she should be strong enough to fend for herself and sent her away empty handed. I found it hard to believe that the Gospel he was preaching and the Gospel he was putting into action was the same Gospel!
If you know of any Christian who is in need but is genuinely not able to find work, don’t presumptuously class them as lazy. I know there are people who misinterpret 2 Thessalonians 3:10, which says: Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” And then will not help any jobless Christian with food nor financial help at all.
Now note that the key word in the above verse is the word “unwilling.” Here, we have Christians who are willing but not able to get jobs. So if those who claim to be part body of Christ start but judging our fellow Christians of being incompetent just because they are out of jobs, then we are not giving glory to God but in fact are doing disservice to the Holy Name of God.
Sometimes it’s not food but prayers which are needed. Pray for those in prison or being persecuted for loving the Lord Jesus. A simple prayer can make a difference when said with a humble heart.
Do not say in your heart, so and so person is a Christian, and it’s his or her wisdom to figure it all out. No, that would be a foolish way of thinking, for Jesus wants us to wash each other’s feet.
So pray for those Christians who are in need of healing. Pray for those Christians who are suffering. If some poor Christian is out of job then try to find a job for that brother or sister in Christ. Pray for those Christians whose relatives and friends have died.
Don’t just limit yourself to giving food, jobs and saying prayers for fellow Christians. Kind words and kind actions towards our fellow brother and sisters will go a long way in giving glory to God when done out of love for Jesus Christ.
Verses for reflection:
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not 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!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.” When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. (John 13:1-15)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” (Matthew 25:34-40)
Tips to reduce or eliminate child molestation and paedophilia in your local church
Disclaimer: I do not support nor condone child sexual abuse nor paedophile activities. This is not a legal document and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. This article does not say all church goers are child abusers and paedophiles. This article does not say all church preachers and ministers are child abusers and paedophiles. Remember that child abuse takes place all over the world by even non Christians.
All praise to the Lord Jesus, who said that unless we become like little children we won’t enter the kingdom of heaven. For Jesus desires that we become trustful of God like how young children trust their parents. I pray for the safety and well being of all children in the church and those not in the church too. Amen.
Here are a few to reduce or eliminate child molestation and paedophilia in your local church:
- Never leave children unattended with non family members for too long behind closed doors or restricted spaces.
- Take personal responsibility to ask your children how was their time at church with other people. Try to observe any undue silence by your child and keep asking more questions if needed.
- Respect the innocence and safety of other people’s children like how you would do for you own.
- Have zero tolerance towards any acts of child molestation in your church.
- Have zero tolerance towards all case of paedophilia even if the child was seduced into giving his or her consent willingly.
- Each and every complaint of child molestation can and must be investigated immediately both by church and law enforcement.
- All church members trying to obstruct investigation or hide evidence must be treated as collaborators with the crime. And they must be reported both to the law enforcement and state or city level church authorities.
- An open atmosphere where well being of children must be maintained everywhere in the church.
- If the parents of the victim are cowardly, then other responsible adults should come forward to the help the victim register the complaint. However, this should be done very carefully. As parents can be pressured by the abuser to file counter complaints saying that you instigated their children to file a false case. So in this regard try to get a secure record, preferably on video in which the child mentions that he or she is giving the complaint of their own free will without any force from your end.
- All church members who are adults must be educated to have regard for their children of the church and not ignore their cries for help or tears especially in church.
- People must be made aware that no one in the church must be allowed to neither molest nor seduce children, no matter what rank, gender or social standing that the perpetrator has. This applies to even non Christians who enter or are associated with the church.
- No exemptions for anyone or any group who doesn’t want their names to be reported to law enforcement in cases of child molestation or paedophilia.
- The burden to safeguard children should not be left to women only. Even the men of the family and the church should help the children in such cases.
- All false alarms and false complaints must be investigated and reported to the authorities. However, care must be taken not to generalize all the future complaints as hoaxes but be diligent instead.
- Do not treat every adult as a suspect as this will allow the actual criminals to escape action by the police and church authorities. So in this regard, have a clear understanding of the consequences of your actions.
- Do no falsely assume like the heathen that each church is filled with paedophiles, and go on a punishing spree. Instead be cordial and polite to all church.
- Do not allow any person accused of paedophilia, to get a transfer nor flee the area where the accusation was made. Involve the police in such cases without hesitation. Do note, that these vile people ie the paedophiles may be very dangerous, so exercise due diligence at all times.
- Your local church must have a written document about how the church and its members deal with instances of child molestation and paedophilia. This should specify as to what is defined as child abuse, the course of action to give justice and also how to given relief and welfare to the child. This document should then be reviewed by valid legal experts and law enforcement for any updating that is needed. This document should be available to anyone on demand without any reason being asked for.
- If your local church doesn’t have any such written document approach your preacher or church elders. If they claim they are not interested or don’t have the authority, then ask them to give a written and signed copy of their statements or you record their statements via audio or video devices. And in such cases, keep asking for higher authorities or supervisors who can arrange for the documents and record every statement of their reluctance. This would be useful as a record of the church’s unwillingness to safeguard children’s well being, in case of any unfortunate event of child abuse in that church, which you can submit to the relevant law enforcement.
- This is the most overlooked thing but do pray for children to have safe and pleasant experiences in the church and everywhere. And pray really well at this. Keep in mind that prayer alone is not substitute for personal responsibility and right action.
- Prayer for deliverance of children from child molestors (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
- PRAYER: How to Pray for Protection (stephaniespeakson.wordpress.com)
- Reading the news for prayer needs
- Preventing child sexual abuse (preventchildabuse.org)
- Preventing Child Sexual Abuse – How to reduce this risk in your church (www.churchlawandtax.com)
Prayer For Unity In The Body Of Christ (Video)
Note: This prayer video is from DailyEffectivePrayer.com
Stir up one another to love and good works
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25)
The Holy Scripture encourages us be faithful to our confession of hope in God. In this light, we are to stir up one another to love and good works. We are to love the Lord God and love one another. And also to good works. There are many good things we can do. Do your best in doing the works on God with full sincerity of heart and mind.
A vital thing in exhorting one another to do the will of God is to have fellowship with one another. In fact, we are clearly told not neglect meeting each other. There might be some who believe in being solitary believers and keeping the faith to themselves. However, such things are not encouraged. Rather what the Scriptures says is that we are to be in fellowship with others who believe in Christ by meeting up. You can meet up in Church or any other place where one can concentrate on the teachings of the Gospel. I’m not talking about a picnic nor entertainment. This is about actually reminding others about the greatness of the Lord God. We are to uphold the teachings of the Christian faith which are mentioned in the Bible, not just individually but also as a group. We as believers in Christ are to give no exemption to anyone to go ahead to sin or be unbelieving in the midst of the people of God.
Rarely in offices, factories, schools, colleges etc are people encouraging each other to live with honor and respect. For them success at work or studies is the end all and be all of life. They do not care for the afterlife and neither for holiness even when they’re living. No wonder we need Christian fellowship with each other and then exhort each to follow Christ without fail.