“Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13.34)
Every year, priests and deacons are encouraged to renew their vows during Holy Week. This year, Archdeacon Simon Hill gave a moving homely. I want to share a little bit of his reflections. With the story of the washing of the feet as starting point, Simon reminds us that we live as disciples in response to God’s love demonstrated in the life and death of Jesus. As Jesus washes the disciples’ feet, he calls them and us to wash the feet of others, not out of duty, but out of a real experience of his immense love.
Simon writes, “We are each called in our different places to serve people and wash feet at this time and in order to love we have to be reconciled to time and place- to where we are now. To ignore the voices that hark back or that look forward, be that either longing to return to as things were, or moving to some brave new ecclesiastical world.”
In other words, we need to learn to be present. Present to God, discerning his daily voice and guidance, present to others in listening, hearing and serving and present to ourselves. To grow in the present we need to learn to walk and do ministry at a slower pace. Simon states that “ministry is not about speed for love is patient.” Similarly, in our discussion about the problem of “hurry” last Sunday evening, I quoted John Ortberg who said “Hurry is not a disordered schedule. Hurry is a disordered heart.”
God did not created “hurry” and for many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith, but that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it. God walks ‘slowly’ because he is love. If He was not love he would have gone much faster. Love has its speed. It is an inner speed. It is a spiritual speed.
Lord Jesus, you walked on earth perfectly in tune with your Father. Holy Spirit, reveal to us how to be in tune with Jesus our Lord and Saviour, for the glory of God our Father. Amen