I can't share all the "behind the scenes" details of my church life, but just like anything, there are ups and downs. What I can say is that the first week in March was an "up," and the second week in March was a "down." Going into Sunday the 13th, I had been through two incredibly busy weeks and had to preach two separate sermons that day to two different groups of people.
About three weeks ago, I was asked to preach for the Culpeper County Ministerial Association's (CCMA) Lenten Service. Now, I love to preach-- I can't imagine a point in my life when I won't want to preach on a regular basis-- but I've discovered that, if I had my preference, I'd rather not prepare two sermons for one week. Still, it's what the Lord had in store for me, so I did it. Fortunately, given the short amount of time I had between the time I agreed to preach and the time when I actually had to do so, the chapter from which I was instructed to preach suited me very well: John 13.
In this chapter, Jesus washes the feet of His disciples and demonstrates for us how we're to love each other. The sermon went really well (you can listen to it here). Over 40 people were hearing me preach for the first time and I wanted to leave them with something that was meaningful and impacting. Fortunately, Jeff Light, the preacher at Novum Baptist Church where this event was being held had thought even one step ahead of me. I had asked people to consider ways to humble themselves and serve, and he provided basins with water in order to wash each other's feet. People were given the opportunity to come have their feet washed and to wash others. Several people dropped denominational differences to unify in an act of humbling service.
To be perfectly frank, I think we need to see more of that. In the sermon, I described what the church should do as the ultimate "show and tell." Show Christ's love first, then you get to tell people why you're doing it. Think about that this week... especially if you're having a "down" week. Chances are, so are other people around you. To put it in context, Jesus wasn't exactly having the week of his life either. Two of his friends were about to betray Him, and he was about to die a horrible death.
Two acts of service (the footwashing and the dying) and things turned around for the better by the following Sunday. Give it a shot, let me know how it goes.