The past several years I worked as a Kindergarten teacher in a small, private, Christian school. I didn’t grow up in a church where we celebrated Palm Sunday in particular. In my role as kindergarten teacher, however, I began to look at Jesus’ final week with my students each year as it was in our curriculum. And, I must say, it was truly a special time! I looked forward to this study with my students so much each year and it contributed to my desire to take on a Children’s Minister role.
Of course, we celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection year-round, but taking this week to really dive in and study Jesus’ death and resurrection is such a powerful moment – especially as parents. Taking this opportunity to share with our children the crux of our faith, is tremendous.
I was asked to share today about John 13:1-17. Jesus has entered Jerusalem, been celebrated, and is now ready to eat his Last Supper with the disciples. In order to prepare for the dinner, it was customary for everyone to have their feet washed.
In our curriculum at school, we read from the Jesus Storybook Bible. I absolutely love the language it uses to help children understand what is happening as well as the emotions involved. If you are a parent or even if you’re not, you should consider reading this version. I never could make it through reading to my class without tears when it describes the crucifixion and resurrection scenes. But, let’s look at what it says for this Last Supper preparation:
“…Jesus’ friends were arguing. What about? They were arguing about stinky feet.”
It goes on to explain just how dirty everyone’s feet were – the kids always get giggles over this part. And, then tells us how Jesus responds: “So anyway, someone had to wash away the dirt, but it was a dreadful job. Who on earth would ever dream of volunteering to do it? Only the lowliest servant.”
And, then Jesus shows us yet again how to love. He gets up from the table and begins to wash his disciples’ feet. Peter begins to protest, but Jesus explains that this is the only way we can be close to him – to let him wash away our dirt.
“Jesus knew that what people needed the most was to be clean on the inside. All the dirt on their feet was nothing compared to the sin inside their own hearts.”
I would always share with my students that all of us need Jesus to wash away our sin – we all need a Savior. I make mistakes all the time and I am so thankful that Jesus is my Rescuer and can make my heart clean!
Right now, especially, I am thankful for those who are showing servant hearts like Jesus. Thank you to all of our doctors and nurses who are caring for the sick – putting others' needs above their own. And, thank you to all those who are looking for ways to serve others creatively during this time of great need.
It is my hope and prayer that we will all choose to be a healing presence – becoming a servant just as Jesus showed us in his final days. And, that we will remember that Jesus is our Rescuer and is the only one who can make our hearts clean.