“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.” – John 13:14-15
Recently, St. Luke’s was once again honored to host the ordination worship service for the Oklahoma Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. It is truly a powerful and moving worship service. The music, the singing, and the prayers all seem to be especially strong. The beauty of the sanctuary and the gathering of Methodists from across the state make for a wonderful setting. It was especially wonderful this year because it had been two years, because of COVID, since we gathered for this service. For me, it was both a powerful worship service and a family reunion.
During the service, men and women who have been on the seven-year journey to ordination have the opportunity to kneel, have the Bishop place hands on them, and be ordained into a new role. It is a wonderful moment of celebration as we see God continue to call workers into the harvest. (Matthew 9:38)
As I watched this year’s ordination service, I could not help but think about my own ordination service 10 years ago. My family and friends gathered as we celebrated the end of my journey towards ordination. During that service, Bishop Hayes took some extra time to do something for all of those who were being ordained. It was a powerful moment that has left an indelible impression on my life.
In the midst of a very busy worship service, Bishop Hayes took a pitcher of water and a bowl, brought each new clergy forward, sat them in a chair, and washed their feet. It was a powerful moment, to say the least. To have my bishop wash my feet was a moment that blessed my life.
When that time was over, Bishop Hayes handed me the towel that he used to wash my feet. I keep that towel in my office to remind me of the ministry I have been called to perform. Service is the calling of all of God’s disciples.
You will remember it was on that night so long ago, after Jesus and his disciples had made a long journey to Jerusalem, Jesus got up from the table during supper, took a bowl of water and a towel and washed the feet of his disciples. When he had finished washing their feet, he told them, “You also should wash one another’s feet.”
All of God’s children are called to live the life of a servant. We are to see the needs of those around us, humble ourselves, and allow God to work through us to meet those needs. You do not have to be ordained to serve as Christ has called us to serve. We must simply be willing to do as Jesus did. As we serve our neighbors, they will come to know the power of the love of God who is in their midst; all because God’s children were willing to serve, just as Jesus taught us.
– Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship