“But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!”–Jude 20-21 (The Message)
As a young child, I was the kid who was bullied and picked on. I was the kid who didn’t learn to take care of her adolescent self the best she could because her mom was living with a mental illness and at times couldn’t teach me those things properly. I remember standing on the playground having so many awful names hurled at my little girl self. No wonder, I didn’t want to unlock the story that was locked deep in the depths of my heart. (And didn’t tell that story until I was 18 years old!)
Instead of building up, there was tearing down occurring and as I look at our broken world, that is often what I still see. Have we forgotten that God calls us to “love each other as we love ourselves?” Or maybe we don’t love ourselves because the world has been unkind to us and taught us that we are unlovable? The truth though is that we are all loved children of God. I want everyone of you to know that in this broken world. Yet I know that is hard to trust in when the world seems to be telling you something else.
I honestly don’t know what it is like to live in this world with different colored skin or as an LGTBQ+ individual or as a Muslim or Jew. But when I hear these words from the book of Jude, I want to do better. I want to shut up and listen to these dear beloved souls of God who fully understand what it is like to live with different colored skin or as an LGTBQ+ individual or as a Muslim or Jew. In all honesty, these dear beloved souls continually teach me what the cost of discipleship is in this broken world.
So, despite the ways of the world, I want to be a change agent; who isn’t afraid to break bread with tax collectors and sinners; to break bread with those that society and the world often deems as the outcasts or on the margins of society. As Lenny Duncan reminded us in his post yesterday, “God’s people are not on the margins, they are the center of God’s own heart which flees empire and you!”
My own call to ministry calls me to pick up my basin and towel and wash the feet of all God’s people; no matter who those people are. So, my friends, today I am standing with my basin and towel right next to me, waiting to wash your feet. My arms are outstretched wide; waiting for all of God’s beloved children to be embraced in this love.
Come to me all who are weary, sit down, and let me wash your feet.
I’ll be waiting!