Monday, June 27, 2016

WMTRBW 46: Spirit of Service

For this week's reflection on what it means to be led by God's Spirit in a way of downward mobility, to take on the place of a servant, I want to offer up a piece of art that has captured me ever since I first saw it a few years back: Lars Justinen’s 2007 painting Servant to the World.

Pictured here is Jesus washing the feet of some of the major world leaders 10 years ago:  Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, President George W. Bush, and Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh. I wasn't sure at first who the man on the far right is, but thanks to Nancy, who has since informed me it is Xi Jinpin, then-President of China.

It's a compelling image. What captures me about it is that bin Laden and Bush are sitting next to each other, with bin Laden next in the sequence to be washed. At this particular point in history, it might be equally surprising to see the leaders of Germany and Britain sitting together. What captures you about this? How does it challenge you to think about the story of Jesus washing the disciples' feet and what it means to be a servant? Who might appear in this image today, and who might it be surprising to see seated beside each other...or pictured here at all?

Also: give this week's chapter a read, even if you've fallen off of the bandwagon. It's one of the best so far in my opinion. What Brian McLaren says about what will happen to us if we listen to the Spirit is going to challenge me all week and beyond.

No comments: