Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Last Words

Last words.  Over the years people have said everything from the ridiculous to the sublime.  Let me share with you the last words of some famous folk.

See in what peace a Christian can die ~~ Joseph Addison, writer, d. June 17, 1719

Now comes the mystery ~~ Henry Ward Beecher, evangelist, d. March 8, 1887

I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis ~~ Humphrey Bogart, actor, d. January 14, 1957

Damn it . . . Don't you dare ask God to help me (To her housekeeper, who had begun to pray aloud)
~~ Joan Crawford, actress, d. May 10, 1977

I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.
~~ Leonardo da Vinci, artist, d. 1519

LAST WORDS are very important.   When a person knows he or she is going to die, and has an opportunity to talk to those people who are dearest to one’s heart, one speaks from the heart, and talks about those things that are most critical.

Think about it for a moment.  If you had one last chance to talk to the people you love, what would you say to them?

In the upper room Jesus knew that beyond the door of that room lay Gethsemane, and the arrest, persecution, and the cross.  He knew this was his last opportunity to tell these people, who were the very people who would need to carry on his ministry, the most important things he had left to share.

And he started this time by washing  his disciples feet
What is the point of this lesson, this crazy radical act, where the Messiah, the King of Creation
God with us… washed the dust of the road off of the feet of his followers?

Talk about role reversal! 
Jesus, the King, took the role of a servant!
What was the point? 

The point was that the disciples had a need – a need for cleansing.
You know, we all need to be cleansed
Let us take a moment to think about the ways in which we need to be cleansed
What in our lives isn’t “right” ?

This is where the gospel is challenging.
We don't like to think we need to be cleansed.  We are a bit like Peter who insisted, "you will never wash my feet"

But Christ made it clear to Peter that he needed to received God's love, God's forgiveness, God's grace.  
And Peter finally got it, and typical Peter stated... "Then then wash all of me.  I want it all !!"

Washing is receiving.  God's cleansing power.  God's acceptance
Washing is about grace

It is not by accident, it is the first point Jesus wanted to make in his farewell discourse.

So there are really two questions.  In what ways do we need to be cleansed?  And what is keeping us from accepting our acceptance, and letting the Christ cleanse us?


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