A small band of multi-generational disciples head up Island this weekend on a very interesting missional trip. We discovered a few weeks ago about the plight of a small church in Port Alice on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. The community was hit very hard a couple of years ago with the biggest employer in the small town closing down the pulp mill. People walked away from homes they could no longer afford, as line ups for food banks increased, so did crime increase. It's easy living in the city to forget about these resource based towns that have been built and supported by forestry or fishing...and then suddenly the lifeline is cut.
The church we are going to has not been spared from the same suffering, they have no muscians left in the church ( they use a cd player on Sundays ), the Pastor has not been payed in months...but continues to lead and pastor this small community of believers. So in church couple of weeks ago a seed was sown in terms of question...would a small group be interested in making a journey to minister to this struggling community in Port Alice. It is amazing what unfolded, there will be 15 of us going on the 8hr drive up, and 8hrs back. There will be grandparents, young adults, a couple of middle school kids, teens, young adults and 4 musicians.
I have to share another couple of God-incidents around the unfolding of this pilgrimage. Rebecca, a mother that is going with us whose husband doesn't really hang out at church much and struggles with Rebbeca's passionate foolishness of following Jesus. Anyway, she told her husband about this planned journey, and fully expected hism to be a little upset. Well she told him...he never said a word...got up left the house. Rebecca expected the worst. Her husband returned 3 hours later with his pickup truck packed to the top of the canopy with non-perishable food. At the same time money came in, a multi-media player and projector was donated.
So we leave Saturday morning at 6:00am, we have no idea what to expect, we do know that the community is in the midst of a long fast...so we have a holy fear, and an expectation and anticipation the Jesus will be the High Priest over the two days were there...that all ministry will be surrendered over to him, and His will be done.
As I've prayed about our time of worship and ministry up there, and meditated and reflected...my mind keeps being filled with the image of Jesus washing feet. Such a profound image, that it overwhelms me. As rituals go in the church, we seem to have hidden this one, as if embarrassed by it. But as I keep reading the story of the last supper in the Gospels something becomes shockingly apparent...this act can not be separated from the last supper or communion.
Jesus has walked across the landscape with this band of followers for 3years, they have seen the miracles, have heard stories of the Kingdom, heard the mystery of the parables...and now class is over, school is out. Within hours Jesus will leave them...He must show them the greatest truth about the Kingdom, the greatest truth of our faith...and the greatest truth of communal living. What does he do...He grabs a towel and basin.
This living Word, that spoke all creation into existence, that set the stars in the heavens, sent galaxies spinning...that took on the form of one of us, that pitched his tent among us...now kneels to wash feet.
Why does this act make us so uncomfortable? Is it the submission, the obedience, the vunerability, the profound humility, the smell, the ugliness of feet. What is it. I believe there is incredible power in this act...I think the reality of Christ fills it. As far as needs for community go...all the needs are filled in the spiritual truth behind the act. Unless this spiritual truth is unveiled, and the community is living it as a reality...can there really be communion. Unless there is a everliving consistency of vunerability, humility, submission to one another, and obedience can there be real authentic community.
The image of the " King of all Creation " washing feet blows my mind, and of what it means for us. So somehow as we enter into this journey to Port Alice, to this struggling church with seemingly many needs. Maybe during our ministry and worship, Jesus will reveal that their greatest need is already there...and maybe in " foot washing " the Holy Spirit will reveal that reality. If you happen to drop by here and read this...if you could keep our journey this weekend in your prayers, that would be sweet.
Grace, Peace...in His radical revolutionary scandalous Love, a fool for, and a servant of the King,