Close this search box.

This week’s note from Rev. Bill



               When Jesus knew that His time on Earth with His disciples was coming to end, He gave them three gifts – 

  • Jesus washed their feet.
  • He ate with them.
  • He promised them God’s abiding presence.

(John 13-15)

I’m sure at the time that the disciples had no idea what was going on – they knew that it was dangerous to be up there in Jerusalem, with Herod and Pilate and the religious leaders. But they also believed that Jesus was the One. Was He going to finally reveal Himself and take the throne? Or was this going to be the end?

Jesus had been loving them and teaching them and trying to prepare them for what was about to occur, but you know how we humans get. We just somehow keep missing the point!

But Jesus loved them. And as His last act of love, Jesus washed their feet – a symbol of the True Kingdom of God, which is based upon peace and humility. The world thinks that power and control come from domination, overwhelming your enemy, having more of everything. Jesus showed His followers that the only thing worth controlling is yourself and your emotions and pride. When you know who you are, you don’t need to demand it from anyone else. You are free to love them and invite them to know peace, too.

Jesus ate with them. This was one of the most intimate acts that a person could do with another in ancient Oriental culture. To eat with someone is to say that they are family, that we belong to each other. And to share the Passover meal – that is more intimate than other meals! Jesus ate with them and gave them a new way to follow. Family is not based upon shared genetics; God’s family is based upon mutual love and concern, and working for the welfare of all. 

And Jesus promised them that, even though He left, God would still be with them. The Father would send the Holy Spirit to guide, convict, and reassure them. The Spirit is our advocate, the one who stands with us when we are accused or when we feel alone. 

I have loved you all over the past years, and now that Kim and I are moving on, we want to let you know how much you have meant to us. I know that I’m not Jesus, but I pray that God has used us to bring you hope and healing through this time, and a promise for the future.

We have served together. Through our weekly Prayer time on Fridays, through Community Breakfasts, through Food Distribution on Wednesdays, through Bible studies, through Worship, through community activities, through Staff meetings, through funerals and weddings, we have served. We have let our neighbors know that we see them, and we want to know and love them. We have humbled ourselves to get down and play with the kids, to teach someone to speak English, to offer our gifts to the Children’s Home and beyond. 

We have eaten together. (We have one more chance this coming Sunday!) We have broken bread in church, in our Fellowship Hall, in each other’s homes, and at restaurants. We have taken each other into our lives and shared not only physical nutrition, but spiritual health. 

And we have the promise of God’s Holy Spirit. When Kim and I are in Lake Wales and Indian Lake Estates, we know that the Holy Spirit is already at work in the people up there, just as He is here. We trust that the good work that we have started together here in Bonita Springs will not end, but that there will be new ministries opening up that we have never even thought of! And that’s okay – as the scripture says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God brings the growth!”

Thank you for allowing us to see God at work in your lives. Thank you for being open and vulnerable to us, and we know that you will do the same with Ben. 

And remember – this is not the end. This is just one more chapter in the book of salvation that God is writing, through us and through you. 

  • Rev. Bill and Kim
Picture of update

Post a comment