Sunday, October 9, 2016
Spiritual Focus for the week: Spiritually arming oneself (for both now and Armageddon) and forgiving each other so that we may be forgiven on Judgment Day.
John, Chapter 13, Verse 1
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
Christ as man and God knowing that his sacrifice of love was eminent rises up empties Himself and disrobes and taking the role of a lowly servant washes the disciples feet even the feet of Judas Iscariot. This is the love of Christ displayed for us from the Father. Jesus, servant of the Father, becomes the servant of mankind. His hour has come, and he loves his friends “to the end” and so in turn His disciples must serve one another. We are all called to wash one another’s feet.
Jesus washing the feet of the disciples (John 13:1–17) occurred in the upper room, just prior to the Last Supper and has significance in three ways. For Jesus, it was the display of His humility and His servanthood. For the disciples, the washing of their feet was in direct contrast to their heart attitudes at that time. For us, washing feet is symbolic of our role in the body of Christ. Walking in sandals on the filthy roads of Israel in the first century made it imperative that feet be washed before a communal meal, especially since people reclined at a low table and feet were very much in evidence. When Jesus rose from the table and began to wash the feet of the disciples (John 13:4), He was doing the work of the lowliest of servants. The disciples must have been stunned at this act of humility and condescension, that Christ, their Lord and master, should wash the feet of His disciples, when it was their proper work to have washed His. But when Jesus came to earth the first time, He came not as King and Conqueror, but as the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53. As He revealed in Matthew 20:28, He came “not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The humility expressed by His act with towel and basin foreshadowed His ultimate act of humility and love on the cross. Jesus’ attitude of servanthood was in direct contrast to that of the disciples, who had recently been arguing among themselves as to which of them was the greatest (Luke 22:24). Since there was no servant present to wash their feet, it would never have occurred to them to wash one another’s feet. When the Lord Himself stooped to this lowly task, they were stunned into silence. To his credit, though, Peter was profoundly uncomfortable with the Lord washing his feet, and, never being at a loss for words, Peter protested, “You shall never wash my feet!” Then Jesus said something that must have further shocked Peter: “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me” (John 13:8), prompting Peter, whose love for the Savior was genuine, to request a complete washing. Then Jesus explained the true meaning of being washed by Him. Peter had experienced the cleansing of salvation and did not need to be washed again in the spiritual sense. Salvation is a one-time act of justification by faith, but the lifelong process of sanctification is one of washing from the stain of sin we experience as we walk through the world. Peter and the disciples—all except Judas, who never belonged to Christ—needed only this temporal cleansing. This truth is just one of several from this incident that Christians can apply to their own lives. First, when we come to Christ for the washing of our sins, we can be sure that is permanent and complete. No act can cleanse us further from our sin, as our sin has been exchanged for the perfect righteousness of Christ on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). But we do need continual cleansing from the effects of living in the flesh in a sin-cursed world. The continual washing of sanctification is done by the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives within us, through the “washing of water by the Word” (Ephesians 5:26), given to us to equip us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Further, when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He told them (and us), “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). As His followers, we are to emulate Him, serving one another in lowliness of heart and mind, seeking to build one another up in humility and love. When we seek the preeminence, we displease the Lord who promised that true greatness in His kingdom is attained by those with a servant’s heart (Mark 9:35; 10:44). When we have that servant’s heart, the Lord promised, we will be greatly blessed (John 13:17).
Leif Erikson Day
Leif Erikson Day serves to honor Viking Explorer Leif Erikson and celebrate Nordic-American Heritage. Erikson is believed to have been the first European to set foot on the North American continent, having done so nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus. He established a settlement called Vinland and although its exact location is not known, it is believed that it is near L'anse aux Meadows, in Newfoundland, Canada, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1925, Leif Erikson was officially recognized by President Calvin Coolidge as the first explorer to discover the continent. It took another four decades for the day to become official when, in 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared October 9th as Leif Erikson Day. In 2015, President Barack Obama reproclaimed the day and called upon Americans to celebrate the day appropriately in honor of Nordic-American heritage and the explorers that embarked on the expeditions that led to the creation of the United States.
Leif Erikson Day Facts & Quotes
- · Leif Erikson was actually born in Iceland but his family was Norwegian. He died in Greenland in the year 1020.
- · On October 9, 1825, the first wave of Norwegian immigrants arrived on US soil in New York City. Between 1825 and 1925, nearly one-third of Norway's population immigrated to the US.
- · Erikson named his settlement Vinland or Wineland due to the many grape vines that he discovered there.
- · There are more than 4.5 million Americans with Norwegian ancestry living in the US today, of which 55% live in the Upper Midwest states.
Histories have been written and more will be written of the Norwegians in America, but no man can tell adequately of the tearing asunder of tender ties, the hardships and dangers crossing the deep, the work and worry, the hopes and fears, the laughter and tears, of men and women who with bare hands carved out of a wilderness a new kingdom.- Rønning, N. N., from the book Fifty Years in America
Leif Erikson Day Top Events and Things to Do
- · Purchase a Leif Ericson Millennium Commemorative Coin from the US Mint. The coins were released at the beginning of the century however you can purchase some from collectors online or even try to find them in public circulation.
- · Visit one of the many Leif Erikson statues in the United States. There are statues in Boston, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cleveland, Virginia, Seattle, Minnesota and North Dakota.
- · Take a trip to Iceland, Norway or Greenland and visit the homelands of Leif Erikson.
- · Take a trip to UNESCO site of L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada. This is believed to be the site of Erikson's first New World settlement.
- · Watch a movie about Vikings and Leif Erikson. Some movies include: Leif Ericson (2000) and The Vikings (1958), The Viking Sagas (1995) and The 13th Warrior (1999).
 The Collegeville Bible Commentary
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