Of all the disciples, Peter is the one I most often empathise with.
The Gospels are littered with examples of him holding onto the old ways of doing, being and seeing – only to suddenly perform a massive U-Turn when he finally gets his eureka! moment.
This week, we have been reflecting on the time Jesus washed his disciples feet. Peter resists at first (he thinks he knows best) but when Jesus explains that – without accepting this radical gift from his Rabbi – there can be no relationship, he instead insists Jesus washed his whole body (utterly missing the point).
The intimacy of the moment between Jesus and his disciples is one of shared humility: Jesus humbles himself – giving himself the role of a servant. The disciples are also invited into humility – allowing themselves to submit to the action, and to the knowledge that future acts of service will be the true markers of greatness in the Kingdom they have been invited into.
There is a deep humility to be found in the space between what was and what we hope shall be.
We’ve considered the inevitability of change a fair bit this Lent. How it can be confusing, frightening and feel unsafe.
However, once we do grasp the importance of it – the release and joy it can bring – we can often throw off our caution and rush, perhaps uncritically, into the brave new world we suddenly find ourselves in.
Like Peter, we run the risk of missing the point about the necessity and symbolism of the act of change itself…
If we are not prepared to humbly admit which parts of our old selves we need to leave behind, which stories we need to stop telling, which habits we need to reform… we will return to re-embrace them in harder times.
Oh… and always pay it forward – in all humility.
This post is part of a collaborative project called #LentVoices. For more details of both the project and contributors, see here.