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From the Clergy: Dean Smalley

“I’ll tip my hat to the new Constitution, Take a bow for the new revolution, Smile and grin at the change all around, Pick up my guitar and play, Just like yesterday, Then I’ll get on my knees and pray, We won’t get fooled again.”

Suffice to say, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, and The Who can emote. In this short refrain there is much of human longing – an edge, a wariness, all belying a longing for a new order, for hope, for love. Paul Simon would sing “It’s every generation throws a hero up the pop charts.” There is a fundamental longing for one upon whom to place our hopes, and a wariness in the hope.

Jesus’ followers, then and now, shared these longings and concerns too. John 13 has always been resonant to me; I’ve recently revisited it, and these emotions and fundamental longings are expressed there not only in words, but in shocking image too.

They are in the upper room, and Jesus declares that his “hour” has arrived. It previously was not time, but now is the Passover, now is the time. What is his hour? His betrayal, suffering, death; in short, the cross. What will momentarily bewilder and scatter his friends will ultimately be the means of the new order.

“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1). The greatest among them, the greatest in any time and moment, shockingly descends, becomes less, and in so doing becomes more. Jesus not only becomes more in exemplary, sacrificial service, but our lives become more too, because we are loved by the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In his serving, saving love comes down. That which we fear to long for is given.

Though flummoxed, his followers aren’t fooled, and neither are we. When we are loved and washed, not simply our feet but our souls and and lives by his blood, in the things we’ve done and left undone, the new order enters into our lives. Not a hero up the pop charts, but a savior lifted up.

Thanks be to God,
– Craig
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – John 13:34

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