featured graphic for Pastor Mike McKay and his wife Kristi of Neighborhood Church during COVID-19

Weekly message from Neighborhood Church: Maybe there is too much of me

John 13:14-15 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.

Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter Sunday. The day before Jesus was crucified, died, and placed in a tomb. A lot happened this Thursday you can read about here. Jesus had gathered His disciples to celebrate Passover and as He knew this would be a last moment with His friends and the future leaders of the Christ-follower faith. This night was important, one we should keep coming back to learn from. It is called ‘Maundy’ Thursday from the Latin word mandatum, meaning command. Jesus gave out important commands this night.

One command was to follow His example by taking on the heart of a servant and place others over ourselves.

John 13:3-5 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.

To place others over ourself is to choose not to be so focused on self, and instead, to be a servant of others. A servant looks to others needs over self; it is to be selfless. One of the main reasons we are so anxious in life is we grapple with self; if we are getting our due, being noticed, affirmed, successful, needs/wants/desires met, and more. We get anxious when life is too full of self, too much of ‘me.’ Actually, one of the best ways to grow in faith and move on in our following of Jesus is to deny self.

Matthew 16:24-25 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Our natural, sin-bent self wants to take over and have us make choices to keep self prominent, to be too much about ‘me.’ Yet, because Jesus conquered sin (what Easter and the resurrection is all about), sin no longer needs to lead us, we can overcome, we can choose to deny self, and love others like Jesus.

John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

1 Corinthians 13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Yes, maybe there is too much of ‘me’ in life. Maybe it would be good to wash a few people’s feet like Jesus. To care more about them than our own agenda. It could be to listen more, ask good questions over making statements, have others share their story over you telling your story. It’s also making time and giving time to others, or spending time with a friend or family member. It’s doing acts of service: helping, volunteering, and looking for ways to be a blessing and benefit to others.

See, we naturally put ‘me’/self in the center of life. So, denying self is difficult. It requires we put some thought and effort into our choices. But once we make a habit of it, it comes more naturally. How could you serve someone today?

Church is a good place to grow and practice being a good faithful servant. If you don’t already have a church, you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church, especially this Easter season. Please check out our website for times and locations of all of our Easter week gatherings. We would love for you to join in. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.

Making choices to be less of me and more of others along with you,

Mike