Bible Readings and Devotion for May 19, 2020
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Devotion for May 19, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Our reading from John, chapter 13, highlights the New Commandment of Jesus. This is following the dramatic account earlier in chapter 13 of how Jesus serves his disciples at the Last Supper. Specifically, we read of him giving himself in humble service as he washes his disciples’ feet. His act of service to them becomes a model of Christian service. After Jesus washes their feet he says, “For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” Our calling is to serve each other by washing one another’s feet, and any other kind of humble service for the benefit of one another.
Jesus lifts up a simple plan of action for his followers: serve one another as Jesus has served them. The day after giving this example of service for others, Jesus gave the ultimate act of service: he gave himself in death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sin. For our sake he defeated the final power of death by being raised to life beyond death. Who is being served by this? Jesus is serving the people of the world whom he dearly loves. Jesus is serving you and me.
The death and resurrection of Jesus brings us forgiveness and life. His goodness for us leads us to live for God and others in a new and powerful way. The foundation of this is in the work of God for us in Jesus Christ. In Romans chapter 6, verses 3 and 4 we read the following: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore, we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” We can see here that, as we are united with Christ in Baptism, and as we are stirred to faith by the Holy Spirit, we grow into living his new and most excellent way. God’s new way always involves service to God, our neighbors and our fellow believers.
We serve one another because God first loved us. (1 John 4:19). Our mutual service ends up also being part of our witness to what God has done for us and the human race. The song, “They Will Know We are Christians by Our Love,” expresses this point well. See the video link below for this song.
Holy God, source of all love, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave us a new commandment, to love one another as he loves us. Write this commandment in our hearts, and give us the will to serve others as he was the servant of all, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.