It’s Easter week, which means my heart is about to jump out of my chest. There are so many reasons why Easter is my favorite week of the year.
If you know me well, you have heard about the Saturday night Easter invitation I very reluctantly accepted seven years ago. I had been deeply hurt by the church in the past. I was determined to not let my heart feel that pain again. I told my friends “no” several times before I said “yes.” I walked in full of skepticism and doubt. I walked out curious and yearning for more. Today, my life is completely different because I said yes to that invitation.
But there’s more to the story really. Two years ago, a ministry leader saw something in me and trusted me to try “owning” some aspects of planning and preparation for Easter services. It was nothing extravagant but here’s why it matters. When I was in high school, I spent a lot of time serving at my church. I was there so much that I had a key to the place. But a few years after I left that church, I screwed up. I made some colossal mistakes that I honestly believed disqualified me from ever serving in church again, and certainly from being trusted with any amount of responsibility. But God doesn’t disqualify us from His Kingdom work. He designed the church to be a place that welcomes and utilizes broken people. Two years ago this week, I got to step a little further into ministry and see more of the behind-the-scenes work that goes on at my church that creates an experience like I had five years before when I stepped into Cross Point for the very first time. Two years ago, I understood a little more about second chances.
This part of my story takes me back to John 13. Jesus is about to be crucified and will conquer death. I don’t know about you but if I knew I was about to die a brutal and humiliating death, I don’t think I would be on my hands and knees washing the feet of my followers. I mean, He was about to die for them. Is that not enough?
Thank goodness Jesus doesn’t think like I do. The King of Heaven and Earth submitted Himself humbly to the lowliest of tasks. In this day and age in the Jewish culture, this task was reserved for the lowest of servants. And if you had a good relationship with your servants, you might even hire a Gentile to come wash the feet of your guests at a dinner party.
He washed James’ and John’s feet, even though their motives weren’t always pure.
He washed Matthew’s feet, even though his past should have disqualified him from being a follower of Jesus.
He washed Thomas’ feet, even though he was full of doubt.
He washed Peter’s feet, even though he would commit the greatest sin of all less than 24 hours later when he denied Jesus three times.
He even washed Judas’ feet, even though he had already betrayed Jesus.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
“Do you understand what I have done for you?”
This is a question I feel like Jesus asks me often. I didn’t do anything to earn God’s grace, which means I can’t do anything to fall out of His grace. I feel like He’s looking at me sometimes and just has that look on His face like, “Really Felicia? You really think you’re powerful enough to undo what I have done for you?”
Another thing you know about me is that I love serving at my church. If they would let me, I might just live there. But every tiny little thing I get to do for my church is a reminder for me that God’s love and grace is infinite. It’s also a reminder to me that Jesus washed my feet and then died on a cross and conquered death so that I would go and wash another’s feet. With great privilege comes great responsibility. The moment I accepted His love, I became responsible for sharing my story with others. It is up to me to share the gift I have and wash someone else’s feet.
This week, that is as simple as inviting people to come hear the message of freedom and redemption at my church this weekend. This past weekend, one of our pastors reminded us this week that it isn’t enough to sing worship songs of praise and gratitude. Out of that gratitude, a commission is born. That commission is to go out and spread the message of His love with a lost and dying world who is in desperate need for a God who brings hope and redemption.
So here’s my prayer for this week. Will you pray this with me?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your perfect love that gives second chances and redeems broken hearts. Thank you for loving me enough to wash my feet and serve me even though I was nothing but a wretched sinner. Thank you for gracing me with a place where it was okay to not be okay, and a community that wouldn’t let me stay that way. Thank you for choosing to use me to help give someone else hope and redemption. Lord, I beg you to break my heart for what breaks yours. I pray for divine appointments this week. I pray you will continue to interrupt my life this week and give me your eyes to see your people. I pray you will bring so many people into our church and the churches in our community that there is not room enough to seat them. I pray for overflow parking and seating areas to overflow. I pray for hearts to be stirred and chains to break. I pray for legacies to be forever changed and stories to be rewritten. I pray for ears to be opened and for souls to be harvested. I pray for a hedge of protection around our pastors and church staffs and their families as the enemy prowls around looking to steal, kill and destroy. I pray for every volunteer in every church that their hearts would be full of your love and joy. I pray for children and students to find safety, comfort and unconditional love within kids ministry walls. I pray for musicians and pastors to be your mouthpiece and to lead and preach with your divine guidance. God, I pray for my heart. I pray that I would appreciate the still small moments in-between the chaos and excitement to understand exactly what you sent your Son to do, and that you loved me enough to rescue me from myself, in spite of myself. Lord, thank you. Thank you for loving me enough so that I could know and understand that I am enough. Thank you for bringing Heaven to Earth and for exchanging your righteousness for my sins. Thank you for making me a coheir with Christ and for declaring me in your royal priesthood. And thank you for moving me into such a genuine people with such a raw and tenacious desire to see our city break out in revival. Help me to be more diligent and to know that every moment, every conversation counts in making Heaven more crowded. And in your most powerful and precious name, Amen.
If you’re wondering where you’re welcome this weekend – whether you need a place to heal or you just yearn for a greater understanding of your purpose in this world or you’re desperate for community – whatever the case may be, you are welcome at my church. No matter what your story is, no matter how far from God you are, no matter what you have done or where you have been – you are welcome at Cross Point. I say that with confidence because I am a living testimony.
There are 24 services at all of our locations across Middle TN. Find out more.
For the record, it doesn’t matter where you worship this weekend. It doesn’t have to be at my church. I just sincerely pray you spend it somewhere you know you are loved and valued, and that you can call your family.