FAITHFUL WORDS Dr. Kenneth L. Faught Where loves leads “When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you?’” (John 13:12) By washing their feet on the night before He was crucified, Jesus gave his disciples a dramatic culmination of all his teaching. Gathered in an upper room with his closest followers, He is setting an example for them and preparing them for their final exam which will begin with his arrest. Jesus, the Son of God, wants his followers to know where love leads. Love leads to service. This is a favorite theme of Jesus. He said, “Whoever will be great among you must be your servant, and whoever will be chief among you must be your minister.” Now He washed their feet, providing an object lesson for his own words. There is no Christian discipleship without service to God and service to others. The hymn-writer expressed this as a prayer: “Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.” Love leads to sacrifice. Jesus sensed that in a matter of hours He would offer his life on the cross. In an early hymn of the church recorded in Philippians 2, the writer says that Jesus “emptied himself, and took upon himself the form of a servant.” Madonna, the pop singer, once said, “I want to be like Gandhi and Martin Luther King and John Lennon. But I want to stay alive.” Many of us are like that – we want service without sacrifice, or inconvenience. Jesus symbolized the connection between love and service when he instituted a meal that symbolized “body and blood” – suffering and death. Love leads to a greater sense of personal identity. Who was Jesus, anyway? In the Gospels a voice from Heaven declares, “This is my beloved Son.” Jesus reveals himself as a “suffering servant” – one whose love is always demonstrated by action. Jesus declared himself in service and in sacrifice. Albert Schweitzer once said to a group of youth, “The only ones of you who will be truly happy are those among you who seek and find how to serve.” So, where does love lead? It leads us to service, to sacrifice, to a true sense of identity, and, ultimately, love leads us back into the arms of Divine Love. Dr. Faught is Pastor of The LaFollette United Methodist Church.