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Caroline Newbold1 
Caroline Newbold

Jesus got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel round his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped round him.  John 13:4-5

Jesus was totally God but also a human like us.  He had immense power at his disposal, yet demonstrated totally humility.  At the Last Supper, he got down on his knees and washed the dust and dirt off his disciples’ bare feet – a job usually reserved for the lowliest servant. It was a visual image to demonstrate how he wants us to treat each other.  He explained, ‘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.’

Serving others is at the very heart of the Christian faith.  In pandemics throughout history, Christians have been in the forefront of caring for those affected; from plagues in the Roman Empire, to the Black Death in central Europe and Cholera outbreaks in Victorian London.  Today, we know a lot more about how viruses spread and what to do to help others stay well - which may include isolating ourselves - but we can still serve.

St Stephen’s folk are doing a wonderful job of keeping in contact with each other and offering practical help where it’s possible for them to do so.  For others who are not blessed to be in a church family, the situation can be very different.  We can demonstrate the love of Jesus by checking on our neighbours and some of us may be able to volunteer to help more widely through

Let’s pray to be able show the love of Jesus through our words and actions where we are, and in all our daily encounters.   Home can sometimes be the hardest place of all but the Holy Spirit offers us His fruits of patience, kindness, love and self-control to help us.

Prayer:  Heavenly father, we thank you that you came not to be served but to serve, help us to follow your example even when it’s hard to do so.  Give us grace to reach out to others at this time and to show your love in whatever way we can, with friends and with strangers.  Amen.
Prayer Request – For Mark & Laura Tate & their team on The Grove as they reach out in the name of Jesus to the community there, and provide practical and emotional support to people in need.