Peter writes that we are a “Royal priesthood” a “Chosen Nation” selected for service in the Kingdom. Paul calls individuals ambassadors for Christ and hands over the “Ministry of reconciliation” to you and me. Click on the underline to check the reference or source of quote.
When Jesus washed the disciples feet as they were arguing who should set where based on rank and Satan filled Judas with bitterness, we see in action what Jesus will, does and has done many times with His bitter tears. Jesus will pick up our muddy, filthy feet and wash the world’s dirt from our life. (Hebrews sez Jesus’ blood sacrifice paid it all) Sometimes He uses the rod of discipline on me, sometimes it is His staff pulling me back from the danger I just do not see because of the bright lights and glitter of the golden idols the world has for me.
I found these 10 quotes on a clickbait site. I quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer and add a thought of my own numbered and bold before Dietrich’s. The more I study the writings of God I find gentle souls that looked outside the box. Especially today when many realize that the lukewarm worship of entertainment and the sage on a stage is not fellowship with Jesus we see in the Gospels or the Ekklesia in Acts or the letters. I hear many voices saying similar things. Numbers say the mainstream model is broken in many places and for far too many sheep that are wandering. I pray for unity. Unity will take the Holy Spirit to melt prideful hearts and gently break soft ones.
1. Mutual respect for another means I love you too much to sin against you or God in your presence or to allow you to continue in sin against others or God. Not about judging, but about saving.
“Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.”
2. Jesus was/is a friend of sinners, lived with the poor and least of these. Who is going to serve the “least of these”, dones, nones, ?
“Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. ‘The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people.”
3. Being forgiven is a gift, not a title of rank. We are servants of Jesus, yet a royal priesthood of the least of these of equal rank. That is what “Wash feet” means.
“If my sinfulness appears to me to be in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all. … How can I possibly serve another person in unfeigned humility if I seriously regard his sinfulness as worse than my own?”
4. We can build a church of sticks and bricks, or as Jesus did with living stones on the foundation of the Rock of Ages.
“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.”
5. Prayer in the name of Jesus separates the Ekklesia from the “religions of the world”. Our redeemer lives!
“A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner.”
6. Be prepared to be used, if one time like Ananias with Saul or thousands like Phillip.
“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions.”
7. “Tame the tongue” Train the ear! This one is mine. James sez “rudder” as in control your boat. Paul sez we can control the tongue
“There is a kind of listening with half an ear that presumes already to know what the other person has to say. It is an impatient, inattentive listening, that despises the brother and is only waiting for a chance to speak and thus get rid of the other person. Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by Him who is Himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God.”
8. Who are you compassionate about? Wash the feet of your brothers and sisters. Be kind to neighbors. There is a difference.
“The Christian, however, must bear the burden of a brother. He must suffer and endure the brother. It is only when he is a burden that another person is really a brother and not merely an object to be manipulated. The burden of men was so heavy for God Himself that He had to endure the Cross. God verily bore the burden of men in the body of Jesus Christ.”
9. God is in the details, watching.
“Who can really be faithful in great things if he has not learned to be faithful in the things of daily life?”
10. Thankful, and able to be thankful of others.
“If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all in Jesus Christ.”
Got to work on these! pray for your neighbors!