A Death-Life Exchange, Even Before Your Death
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. -excerpt from John 13:1-17**
You knew Your authority, yet You knelt down. Your calloused fingers brushed their calloused feet and meekness breathed holiness through human touch. They would soon know the Father through Your emptying, but the cross wasn’t Your first kind of death.
You left all that was Him — holy, safe, secluded — to enter the mess of a stable as an introduction to the mess of the world. Your people made You weep; instead of turning from them, You washed their brokenness with Your skin against theirs.
You did what they didn’t understand, all for love. We, even now with all of You living inside of us, we don’t understand in full. And You still wash, patiently.
That night, then, is my everyday, now. I adore You, sweet Jesus, who washes my feet. You give me an everyday cleansing with Your life. You start with my roughest parts.
You had power to raise the dead yet You took the lowest place. They slew You with their words before they scourged Your flesh — the flesh You put on so that they might know You and Your Father — and Your preparation was a foot-washing.
Jesus, so other, I adore You for living from Your Father’s heart.
You loved them. You loved me, then. And Your love wasn’t transactional.
Your singular focus on the will of the Father included a heart which bled for His children. You didn’t spend Your earth years, distant, waiting to perform that for which You came. You cleansed with Your life before Your life and death expunged.
You kneel with all that You are, Jesus. You carry the power to move the world in the same hands that washed their feet. Your life spoke a better way. Death, in the daily minutia of Your thirty-three years, was life to You. All of God in an earthly frame, every moment of Your time on earth was a sacrifice. Yet You walked in step with Your Father … and thus was life upspringing.
You loved while You modeled and You modeled love. I worship You, God who went before me in human form so that I might know how to live. I adore You, Jesus, who walked the way of the cross before Your day came to hang there. I praise You, One who demonstrated this death-life exchange for my witnessing.
I stare deep into the eyes that look up at me, from the God-Man kneeling to wipe clean my dirt, and I can’t help but receive more understanding of this love, so other.
I choose You, which means death — but for a moment — because You lived a life of risen-ness even before the world witnessed it.
In You, I lose all of me. I kneel, heavy against the pavement before life’s woundings and those that have administered them, because You went before me. And it was there, back hunched over all of their mess, that love cleansed. And love won.
You died, daily, so that I might see the precious victory in Your life’s love.
You lived a love I want to know. I adore You, oh God whose love is ever-unfolding before my eyes. I worship You, Father of bent-knees.
Thank you, Jesus, for Your sacrifice which changes me.
**So what do I do with these posts, you ask, other than just read them? First, if you haven’t yet, read: Why I Adore and Morning Chai, Explained to give you a context for this little space on my blog.
If you are compelled, I invite you to participate. Set up a space and time in your own life to begin adoring. Over laundry or dinner dishes, on your commute to work, or in the wee morning hours — five or ten minutes is a great start. You can use the verse I list here every day or two as a launch pad for your own adoration. (Showing Up gives you some practicals.)
Then practice praise.
I promise your weary soul won’t regret it.
***You can easily subscribe to these devotional meditations as they are delivered, by using this feed: http://www.EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai/feed or by entering your email address in the second box on the right-hand side… (scroll up a bit)
Additionally, all of the Morning Chai Posts can be seen, in the order of posting, by clicking here or adding this address to your reader: http://EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai
Photo compliments of Mandie Joy.