Monday, September 14, 2015

Lessons from a Barn

This morning I was given the task of moving our new little calves out of the barn into the warm sunshine, pasture and grass.

Here are a couple of take-aways:

1) Calves don't follow because I say, "Come, little calf. Follow me!" in a sing-song voice.

2) Flip-flops are not ideal barn/lifestock shoes.

3) When you help the weak, prepare to be peed and shite upon--in a nice way.

4) Flies make themselves at home in filth--along with other unwelcome bacteria and vermin.

Sun, grass and fresh air do a body good.
Barn experience translated to ministry:

1) No one will follow me. It's all about Jesus. He's the One who calls, convicts, prods and moves individuals.

2)  Jesus likely wore sandals through the kind of terrain found in our barn. To follow Him is to live a life of self-sacrifice and dirty feet (good thing skin (and lives) are wash-and-wear). Jesus has cleansed me. Humility, love and service means kneeling to cleanse the filth that builds up on the exposed, traveling parts of others' lives and allowing them to do the same for me.

3) Helping the weak and hurting means they will let loose with foul, out-of-control issues unexpectedly. Love says, "That's okay--it's not about me, it's about Jesus. He loves you. Let me show you how."

4) Ignoring sin compounds the problem. When we harbor sin we can expect it to attract other sinful thoughts and behaviors that eat away at the life God has given us in Christ.

Jesus, His Word and repentance change lives. Helping and loving is the least we can do.

Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself.

Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.  So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. (John 13:1-17 NASB)

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