Wash one another’s feet. (John 13:14)
The Gospel of John focused more than half of its attention on the last week of Jesus, paying particular attention to His last words. Departure as well as passing away often brings forth important lessons meant to be imparted. This week, we wrote and drew in our Hero’s Notebooks about verse fourteen from the thirteenth chapter of John.
In Jesus’ day, fashion boots and Pharrell Trainers were not the rule. Sandals and dusty roads led to less than savory lower extremities; and washing them was the image that Jesus wanted to imprint on his disciple heroes. Serving, getting low and meeting a felt need were all part of our rabbi’s exhortation.
Washing feet might not be the same felt need in our historical moment. I washed Will’s and Holden’s foot just to demonstrate for the heroes. But as we practice the way of Jesus, we’re called to find felt needs all around us. Taking the least desirable job during a studio cleanup could be the felt need. Listening to someone who is lonely and hurting could be the felt need. Choosing to be kind rather than be right could be meeting the felt need. We learned this week about humbling ourselves and serving. We’re in the second full week of Tribe Building at Journey Academy. It’s taken a lot of communication, empathy, problem solving and humble service to grow as a tribe.
After two weeks of wrangling, the EL Studio signed and celebrated their studio contract. This contract, a covenant of sorts, is an understood promise of how the ELS wants to learn together. Often times, it will involve reflection, repentance and reconciliation as heroes forget their promises to each other and to Ms. Sarah. This type of “getting low” service to each other is what is going to build this tribe strong. We’ll unveil contracts next week. But today we are celebrating yet another way that we can serve each other as we seek to find His calling and change the world at Journey Academy.
One way that I’m trying to serve is to spend some of my time hand writing letters of encouragement, gratitude and connection to heroes, parents and friends. I was inspired by Andy Smarick’s essay in Commentary. His project is to hand write a letter each day for the next year. It has been a lovely discipline for me in August. I invite you to consider joining me in writing letters.
Whatever your way to serve, please know that your washing will bring Jesus much glory and in the process (at least in mine), you may find your heart surprisingly refreshed. May we all know and celebrate this washing.