Pastor's Articles

The Burrito Job

The Burrito Job

by Luke Jones on March 1, 2019
“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. . .

. . .When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

John 13:3-5 & 12-17 

I’d like to tell you a bit of an odd story.  The other day I approached the church office to find quite a mess of beans, rice, and other food bits on the ground all around the bench that sits outside the church office door.  The food was so scattered around I assumed that someone had left some food near the bench and birds or squirrels or some other small hungry creature had thrown themselves a little dinner party.  Debbie informed me that the previous night a very intoxicated person had been on that bench eating a burrito.  Debbie was aware of this because the individual had, in an advanced state of drunkenness, obnoxiously tried to get local residents to give him a ride home and the police were involved. 

But that’s neither here nor there.  The part of this story that is important enough to share with you happened the following morning, when I found the food scattered and squished on the church’s walkway.  There was just a moment when the quick and not very intelligent part of my brain asked, “whose job is it to clean up this mess?  The Custodian?  The Trustees?”  Then the slightly slower and somewhat more intelligent part of my brain kicked in and answered, “it’s my job because I am here and I can.”

Now I know that most of you would have immediately assigned yourselves the job of cleaning up the mess if you are physically able without even having to think the matter through because that’s the kind of people you are: servant hearted.  I am largely “preaching to the choir” as the saying goes, but I wanted to share this reminder with you just the same:  As servants of Christ, let us never consider any helpful task to be beneath our dignity.  When we willingly do the work this world deems lowliest we answer Christ’s call on us and give Him glory.
In John 13, Jesus gives his disciples a powerful example of how to be a servant for others.  Even though he was their Rabbi and they ought to be serving him if anything, he took off his outer garments and got down on his knees and washed their dirty, stinky feet like a servant.  Then he explicitly called them to treat each other in the same way and never consider authority or seniority a reason to become too prideful to do a dirty job in the service of another. 

The intoxicated person who made a mess of their food will never know that I swept it up.  The person may not even remember the evening at all.  But I had an opportunity to show a little bit of love to them by cleaning up their mess without bitterness or pride and to do a little bit for my church without calling someone else in unnecessarily to do it for me.  It wasn’t a big deal.  It was too small an issue to call it a sacrifice of any kind, but it was a helpful reminder to me that I – that we all, as Christians – are servants.  And I have found Jesus words in verse 17 to be true: it is a blessing to be able to serve!