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Practicing Love Through Service
AS THE CROSS IS THE SIGN of submission, so the towel is the sign of service. When Jesus gathered his disciples for the Last Supper they were having trouble over who was the greatest. This was no new issue for them. "And an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest" (Luke 9:46). Whenever there is trouble over who is the greatest there is trouble over who is the least. That is the crux of the matter for us, isn't it? Most of us know we will never be the greatest; just don't let us be the least.
Gathered at the Passover feast the disciples were keenly aware that someone needed to wash the others' feet. The problem was that the only people who washed feet were the least. So there they sat, feet caked with dirt. It was such a sore point that they were not even going to talk about it. No one wanted to be considered the least. Then Jesus took a towel and a basin and so redefined greatness. . .
Richard Foster, is a Christian theologian and author. He is founder of Renovaré (a Christian nonprofit established in1988 to help people in becoming more like Jesus) and served as its president until 2008; he continues to serve in an advisory role. Foster has been a professor at Friends University and pastor of Evangelical Friends churches. He earned his Doctor of Pastoral Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary and received an honorary doctorate from Houghton College. He is possibly best known for his 1978 book Celebration of Discipline, which sold over one million copies. It was named by Christianity Today as one of the top ten books of the 20th century.