This Good Friday there was a towel hung over the cross.
Earlier in the week we had shared a meal together and shared in worship. At the front of the church worship space, the cross had been erected for the following weekend. As part of our worship that evening, I placed a towel on the cross and shared from John 13, reading the following words:
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
John 13:3-5 E.S.V.
What a proof of Jesus’ willingness to be a servant! Sometimes, I have encouraged people to serve because of the sense of self fulfillment that comes from discovering and using their spiritual gift, but here we find Jesus showing us another model that challenges our motives for Christian service. Jesus takes up the towel and serves. Jesus ministers to his disciples in a menial task that Peter knew was beneath him.
It’s not that I don’t think that Christian service should be rewarding, just that I suspect that the most rewarding service is that which is offered from a heart that desires to pick up the towel and serve in humility that is ultimately most rewarding.
Jesus presents those who would love him and be like him with a wonderful example. Will we pick up the towel and simply serve? That’s why there was a towel on the cross this Easter.