Jesus, with the knowledge of his going back, loved his disciples to the end. We tend to less love or care when we get to the end. When we move, we less care the old house. Just like Orpah, in Ruth 1, left her mother-in-law, because there is no more hope. However, the true love maintains to the end. Ruth, Joshua, Moses... and even Paul remained committed to their love to the end. That's what Jesus did. It is even more fascinating because Jesus not only knew that he is going to leave, but also his disciples would betray him. Judas Iscariot will hand over Jesus and other disciples will run away or deny Jesus. And knowing all these, Jesus chose to love them to the end. How did he love?
Verse 1 and 3-5 are basically talking about the same thing in different words. The verb 'love' in verse 1 is showing up with the verb 'washing the feet' in verse 5. So Jesus' love was washing his disciples' feet. It is amazing. How can my boss wash my car or do my laundry? It doesn't make sense.... unless he is in love with me. That's what's going on in this passage. Jesus loved his disciples so he served them in the form of a servant. From my personal experiences, when the pastors literally washed the feet of their church members, they wash the feet but do not prepare. Preparing water, basin, and towels are others' job. However, in this story, Jesus totally became the form of the servants. (v.4) This is the love to the end.
We can also find the reason why Jesus chose to wash his disciples feet instead of other chores that the servants could do. It is because it signifies Jesus death on the cross. Jesus will wash our sins away with his blood.
And Jesus tells us that this is an example. This is not an example of washing the feet, It is an example of loving each other to the end. That's why none of his disciples practiced of washing others' feet. But they loved each other to the end. Therefore, this is what we are going to do. Here's what Jesus told in verses 34-35, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
1. We elected new executive board members for 2019
-President: William Kim, Vice-President: Jane Ham, Secretary: Justin Park
2. Next Sunday we will have joint service with Youth group at 11:00 because of annual congregational meeting for 2019 budget plan and 장로/권사 election.
James as he close his letter, goes back to the theme of patience in the trials. And the reason that we are to be patient is that it is nature of our faith. Jesus had conquered the death and he brought the new life to us. And this is completely done on the cross. There's nothing that we can add to it. However, it is not fully completed because we are to grow in knowledge and relationship. Until Jesus returns we are to wait patiently.
It is much easier to grumble than to be patient. However, James prohibits it by giving us the same urgency. Jesus is at the door. He will come and judge. Moreover, we are not supposed to take an oath. Swear often happens when people lose patience. So James urges his readers to be patient instead of grumbling and carelessly swearing.
Then how does the patience look like? It is shown in form of a prayer. Prayer requires a lot of patience but at the same time prayer is the explicit form of patience. So if we meet a situation or a hardship, it's a reminder of prayers. If someone gets ill, he is supposed to ask the elders to come and pray. They can use medical remedy (anointing oil), but prayer comes first. And this prayer is not the least way, but the most certain and powerful way because it connects us to God. We pray not to bring God's power to us, but to bring us to God's presence. Therefore, we should pray in each situation. And why do we pray? It is a dump question. Why don't we pray is the right question because God who answers our prayers is our father. If we don't pray, that's weird. It's not weird to pray. And for Christians, if we don't pray each other, it is a sin (1 Samuel 12:23). Let's pray.
Next Sunday we will meet at 11:00am for the church-wide joint worship. (Not meeting at 1:30pm)
In a capitalist society, the subject of economy is each individuals, since each person has their own responsibilities regarding their finances. Therefore, people tend to seek accumulation of their own possessions. In this sense, people say investment is better than saving. But this is true only under the one condition. It is that investment should be made in the right thing.
Today's passage is not about finance, yet reminds us the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:19-20. Jesus told to lay up treasures in heaven, not on earth. This means invest your possessions in heaven. Likewise, James is warning the riches who stacked up their possessions on this earth. The reason is that they are temporary. They will be rotten and corroded, which means they become useless on the last day. Also, James warns the riches because they exploited their employees. That is against God.
Therefore, we should invest what we have in things eternal, that is much better than saving a lot on this earth. How to do it? The answer is in Matthew 25:40. 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
By looking after the needy around us with what we have given from God is the best investment.