Serving as Worship

April 12
John 13:1–17

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. . . . ‘For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.’
Illustration by Gustave Doré

Illustration by Gustave Doré

Christians often become so consumed with the act of serving that they forget the core reason for doing so. Anyone who is engaged in and involved in the local church has probably served their local church in some capacity. Yes, the church is busy and a lot of things happen on a weekly and even daily basis, but is that the only reason we should serve? Jesus gives us the importance of serving in John 13. The King of Kings humbled himself prior to his journey on the cross by washing the feet of his disciples. Simon Peter wanted no part in this, thinking that he should wash the feet of Jesus instead. Jesus knew though that in order for someone to have relationship with him, they must give of themselves fully to him. This washing of feet is an example of what it takes to truly know and walk with Jesus, which is service and humility. The fact that we even have new life in Jesus is a demonstration of service itself. Jesus serves us so that we can in return serve others.

Why is the act of serving often regarded as work instead of worship? One reason may be that we can become so “works” driven. In our culture today, we constantly stay busy and struggle to rest in God. Jesus calls us to serve not for the sake of being tired and weary, but rather to worship and experience joy. Just as he took joy in washing his disciples feet and demonstrating his love for them, we must do so as well. When we lose sight of the purpose of our service, we can go to God, and allow him to refresh and renew us. John 13 is a powerful passage for us to reflect on in our service. May we serve one another as a demonstration of an act of worship to God!

Reflection

  1. Do you frequently find yourself being distracted from worshipping God through serving others?
  2. How can you refresh your purpose and motivation behind serving?
  3. Ask the Lord to fuel your service to him as an act of worship.