Trust in God and Do the Wash
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God, trust also in me.” - The words of Jesus, the Gospel of John 14:1
I trust in God. Do you? If so, what does it look like? . . . To trust God? And how is it that we “do” this thing called trust? Is it an act of trust to “go to church” during a pandemic? Do those who choose “virtual worship” lack trust in God? Is there any standard by which we might evaluate behaviors of trust? Or is trusting in God a matter of opinion, floating on a sea of personal thoughts and feelings?
I trust in God. And I do so as a follower of Christ Jesus. What that means for me is this: Trust in God is not a free-float. Trust, in my case (and yours, if you claim the name of Christ), involves learning to live life according to the words and ways of Jesus. “You trust in God, trust also in me,” says he. So. If I trust in God, I “do” this trusting by emulating Jesus. He is the standard.
On this Thursday of the week Christ-followers call “holy,” we find Jesus washing the feet of his first followers. Leaving nothing to chance, he explains his actions: “I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you” (John 13:15). And what an example it is! On the very night of his betrayal and on the eve of his crucifixion, Jesus serves as a demonstration of trust. In his time of trouble, Jesus tends to the well-being of his friends (including Judas), as a sign. This, says Jesus, is what it looks like to trust in God. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God, trust also in me.”
Beloved of God, trust in God is not a free-float. Jesus Christ is the worthy standard by which we evaluate every behavior of trust. Call to mind, if you will, the temptation of Jesus (the story is told in the 4th chapters of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke). See in your mind’s eye the tempter, the deceiver, challenging Jesus to jump - to throw himself down from the pinnacle of the temple as a demonstration of trust in God. Now hear Jesus say, “It is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’” (Matthew 4:7). Listen very closely to Jesus. Testing God is not trusting God. Succumbing to the temptation to intentionally test God in order to somehow prove our faith to ourselves and others is the antithesis of trust in God.
Today, in the context of a pandemic, it is no small thing to remember that Jesus did not jump from the temple, but he did wash the feet of his followers. And he instructed them - and us - to do the same.
I trust in God. Do you? Then do this: Serve others. Stay home. When you must go out, wear a mask. Wash your hands. Worship virtually. Trust in God by emulating Jesus.
In the Name of Jesus, Pastor Jeff