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The grace of receiving


Scripture:   John 12:1-8

      'Brother,  sister,  let me serve you,
      let me be as Christ to you  . . .'

So we sometimes sing,  and I find the hymn deeply moving.   But deep down I find it hard to let others serve me.

By temperament and upbringing I am ready to be a good Samaritan,  meeting others' needs without thanks or reward.   I have taken the story of Jesus washing the disciples' feet to heart,  and know the secret of true greatness.   Why is it that I feel uncomfortable when another goes out of his or her way to show me unexpected kindness?

  • Is it perhaps because I don't want to be beholden to them?
  • Am I so self-sufficient that,  while they need my help,  I myself can go it alone?
You were content to let others serve you.   The woman at the well drew water to slake your thirst.   Martha toiled in the kitchen while you talked with Mary.   A woman anointed you with spikenard and bathed your feet.   At the end an African toiled up Golgotha carrying your cross.

Were you demeaned by their service?

Lord,  I acknowledge that I am not sufficient on my own.

  • Sometimes I need to share some burden with an understanding friend,  or seek counsel.
  • Sometimes my strength does not match my responsibilities and I need to ask for help.
  • Sometimes those around me need to be allowed to minister to me without my pride getting in the way.
I want to stand on my own feet and not be a burden,  but grant me the wisdom to know when to serve others selflessly,  and when to reach out for help,  how to let another supplement my weakness,  how to swallow my pride and allow another to 'be Christ to me'.


©  Selwyn Dawson


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