Thursday, June 26, 2008

The greater good

Today’s Reading: John 13:7-9(NIV)

7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand. 8 “No,” said Peter, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me. 9 “Then Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

Good morning!

As parents, we often make decisions for our young children based upon the greater good. We may choose not to feed them sugary sweets, even though the neighbor’s kids have full access to the candy jar and a pantry full of junk food. Studies have proven that prolonged high fat, high sugar intake can cause deadly diseases, even in our young ones, whose high metabolisms cannot compete with sugar overload. Our babies are not happy campers when Mom and Dad continue to say no. They just want their cravings satisfied, not caring at the moment what the long-term effects may be. Some children wrestle with a sweet tooth long into their adult years. I’ve met many adults who struggle with cravings in their food choices: I am one of them.

We make decisions, knowing that the ones who depend upon us will not understand why at this particular moment in time. Maybe they do not have enough foresight to grasp the bigger picture. Often, our selfish side rails against a choice less savory. We would much rather stay up all night playing and watching movies, than go to bed at a decent hour, to give our bodies the much needed 6-8 hour minimum window of rest. Have you ever met a child who didn’t get frustrated when they hear their parents say, “Time for bed!”

As Jesus prepared to wash Peter’s feet, He said, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand. I’m sure Simon Peter didn’t enjoy hearing this particular comment. He longed to know the deeper meaning of faith. Yet, Peter was ashamed that the Master whom he served would choose to wash his feet. They were stinky and filthy, and Peter knew it. He was embarrassed and humbled, and could not possibly grasp what greater good could come from Christ’s act of servant leadership. He did not understand that Jesus was preparing Peter for the life he would lead after He had been crucified, dead and raised. At that particular moment, he could not see that allowing the Lord of life to wash His feet would become a way of life everlasting for all who followed Jesus.

It is not always easy to see the greater good when it comes to matters of faith. We may not completely understand how and why right now. Still, our loving Father calls us to simply trust and obey His Word. We can rely upon Jesus to lead us in the way that leads to life eternal. It is for the greater good.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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