Life is a series of decisions. Some have little bearing on the outcome of your life. Others are critical to the quality of our lives and and the final outcome.
I remember it just like it was yesterday. I was a teenage boy about 15 yrs of age and I was running some errands with John and Sue (not their real names). I had known them for a few years and had helped John work on some projects around his house. On this day, we were all in the front cab of John’s pickup truck. John was driving, Sue was in the middle and I was in the passenger seat.
If you knew you only had a few hours left to live what would you do? Where would you go? Who would you talk with in your last few moments of life? I am not sure what I would do, but we do know what Jesus did in the final hours of his life. It can be summed up in one word:
Served. That is it. He served.
In John 13, Jesus gathers with his disciples to share one final meal with them before his crucifixion. We’re not sure whether the disciples knew this was His final meal, but it is clear that Jesus knew. And what does Jesus choose to do on his last night with his disciples? He washes their feet! This was normally a task given to servants, but on this evening Jesus does it.
In 1972 a young pastor and his wife started a church in Woodlawn, Tennessee. Woodlawn was a small farming community just outside of Clarksville. They had 3 boys ranging in age from 3 to 10 whom they tried to feed and clothe on a Pastor’s salary. During Christmas the mother would buy a few used toys that would be given to her boys on Christmas day.
Though the family had very little monetarily, their lives were filled with the richness of being in a church family who loved their pastor and his family. There were many stories that would show this love the church had for its Pastor, but none greater than the love shown by the Smith Family.
The family was gathered around the bed waiting for the end to come. The cancer had attacked so quickly Jim had been left with few treatment options. He was dying as gracefully as he had lived and we were all grieving the loss we knew was quickly approaching. For years he had poured his life into his work, his church and relationships. He was the guy who knew everyone’s name and took the time to listen. The man’s man that everyone loved.