Lessons Learned During Holy Week

04.12.10 | Cecil Van Houten | Comments[4]

I've been meaning to put this up for over a week but with our Spring Sharathon right on the heels of Easter, it's taken until now to have time to write.  I don't know about you but Easter always makes me think.  Lent makes me more contemplative than usual and Holy Week is filled with every range of emotion as we journey with Christ from his triumphant entry to his betrayal in the garden to his crucifixion and, ultimately, his resurrection.  Just tracing his steps that last week inspires and moves me like nothing else. 

Of course there are the other elements of Easter - explaining it to the children, trying to make it relevant to them in a way they can begin to comprehend.  I think I have mixed success on that.  The older kids get it - at least they accept the concepts - the younger ones are more concerned with Easter eggs and candy.  That's ok.  I've been trying to teach my 2-1/2 year old granddaughter, Kansas, the concept of knock-knock jokes and she doesn't get those yet either.  Our sessions usually go something like this:

"Knock knock"

"What?"

"No, knock, knock, who's there?"

Blank stare.

"OK, knock, knock...say, 'Who's there?'"

"K...who dare?"

"Knock, knock..."

"What?" 

Maybe next year.

One of the most significant acts Jesus performed in the week leading up to his crucifixion was, to me, washing the disciples' feet.  It was an act of servanthood, and an integral part of the lesson he was teaching the disciples.  From John, chapter 13:  "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. 13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."

As long as we say we want to serve the Lord or we will serve the Lord, we are still in control.  There's a difference between that and being a servant.  A servant simply does the will of his master.  Without reserve, without question.  It is not an act of the will or a choice we decide to make; it is an act of obedience and love. 

I've always liked the lyrics to Larry Norman's classic song, "I Am A Servant":

I am a servant, I am listening for my name
I sit here waiting, I've been looking at the game
That I've been playing, And I've been staying much the same
When you are lonely, You're the only one to blame.
      
I am a servant, I am waiting for your call
I've been unfaithful, so I sit here in the hall
How can you use me when I have never given all
How can you choose me when you know I quickly fall
     
So you feed my soul, and you make me grow,
And you let me know you love me.
And I'm worthless now, but I've made a vow
I will only bow before thee
O please use me, O I'm lonely

I am a servant, getting ready for my part
There's been a change, a rearrangement in my heart
At last I'm learning there's no returning once I start
To live's a privelage, To love is such an art
But I need your help to start.
O please purify my heart
I am your servant.

In all the pageantry and celebration that surrounds Easter; in the eternal triumph over the grave and the life that proceeded from the empty tomb, let's remember who we are - his servants; servants of a master who proved his love and has won our allegiance forever.

Comments

Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 04.12.10 Denise commented

Your trying to teach Kansas 'Knock-Knock' jokes can almost be a lesson on Christ knocking on the door of our hearts, huh? who dare? maybe next year? Don't we sometime not get it when he knocks? Lucky for us He keeps knocking!

on 04.12.10 Denise commented

Your trying to teach Kansas 'Knock-Knock' jokes can almost be a lesson on Christ knocking on the door of our hearts, huh? who dare? maybe next year? Don't we sometime not get it when he knocks? Lucky for us He keeps knocking!

on 04.13.10 Jim R commented

Servanthood has always been a challenging concept to Christians, especially those who live ina western culture that's so "me" oriented. I haven't heard that Larry Norman song in years. thanks for the reminder.

on 07.02.10 Amy P. commented

"He knew me when I was hidden, He knew me...He knew all there was to know, but his love refused to go...He knew Me"

This song penned by you, Cecil, has been in my head for many years now and that message is what has kept me all these years.

I've not always been a good "servant", but The God of Holy week has been with me in spite of all that He knew.

Amy

Name: