I guess this is one of those confessions that I might regret ever making…and it is kind of embarrassing to admit…but here it goes; when I was young, I wanted to be a marching band girl…the kind that walks in cute little pleated skirts and twirls the baton to the beat of the drums with a smile on her face and the perfect posture all along… I admit it…I am guilty as charged.

When I was growing up, there was a school near my house that had marching band practice in the afternoons… they would rehearse going up and down the street where I lived. I remember how I would ask my mom to let me go out and watch the band walk by…I loved everything about the marching band, the music, the drums, the coordination, the batons, and the elegance of the performance…as much as a four year old can appreciate such things.

After watching the band, I would run inside the house, take the broom stick and try to mimic the baton routines that I had just seen…I was seriously obsessed with being like those girls…

To my dismay, I never managed to convince my mom to buy me a baton (probably because she thought I would poke my sister or something)… but my sister and I succeeded in convincing our mom to buy us pleated skirts like the ones the band girls wore…and we wore those skirts ALL THE TIME…

As I grew up, my interest in becoming a band girl disappeared… my school did not have a marching band, and realistically speaking…had there been a marching band in my school I would probably have been too embarrassed to even try out. Once I reached my teen years I stopped thinking that marching band girls were that cool…until today, when I stumbled upon the following article:

Girl beats off muggers with marching Band Baton

QUARTZ HILL, Calif. – Don’t mess with the marching band. That’s what California authorities are saying after a 17-year-old girl used her marching band baton to beat back two would-be muggers.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Michael Rust says the Quartz Hill girl was walking to school April 24 when two men approached her from behind, tried to grab her coat and demanded money.

Instead, one got a punch in the nose and the other a kick to the groin. Rust says the girl then beat both of them with her band baton before she ran away.

The men had not been caught. But Rust says there’s a clear message to take from the encounter:

“The moral to this story is don’t mess with the marching band girls, or you just might get what you deserve. Final score: marching band 2, thugs 0.”

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/odd_marching_band_beating

Now that is a cool marching band girl…

This article reminds me of those movie scenes where the thug tries to attack the proverbial defenseless old lady…and the old lady ends up beating the thug with her purse and rendering him helpless.

I don’t know why such scenes give me a warm, fuzzy, feeling on the inside…I guess I get a certain satisfaction when I see that the turn of events totally takes people by surprise…there is a certain irony about it…and the thugs are completely baffled, because they encounter exactly the opposite of what they had anticipated…

The bible narrates a similar instance, in which Jesus caught the disciples by surprise by choosing to do exactly the opposite of what they had expected of him…

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet (John 13)

1 Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.
2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.
3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God.
4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist,
5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
9 Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”
10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.”
11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing?
13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am.
14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.
15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.
16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message.
17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.

Entertaining & Etiquette

When was the last time you had guests over at your home?

I am sure that the last time you had guests over at your home, you prepared in advance for the occasion and tried to make your guests feel as welcome and comfortable as possible, right?

At the time when Jesus walked on earth, good hosts would normally have a servant available to wash the guest’s feet at dinner parties or similar social occasions.

This was a necessary action in light of two important facts; first of all Jewish people would walk in dusty roads all day long, and when they sat at the dinner table, their feet would be at the same level as the rest of their body (they did not use chairs like we do) so it was a necessary hygienic measure to have not only clean hands but also clean feet at the table. Secondly, it was an act of hospitality which signaled appreciation on behalf of the host for the guest’s presence in his home… in a way it is like saying “I am glad you could make it”, or even “I am honored to have you at my table”.

The passage narrated in John 13 begins with a very poignant statement about Jesus feelings on that night when he was having supper with his disciples. Jesus was aware that he was not going to be with his disciples for much longer…that he was leaving them…and of course he wanted to show them his love in a very practical way; by wrapping a towel around his waist and washing their feet.

Jesus; The servant leader

Jesus was in a position of authority, the bible says that “Jesus knew that the father had put all things under his power”… and in spite of this, he chose to dispose of all human conventions and instead of taking the role of a magnanimous host showing appreciation for his guests, he took the role of a humble servant who cleanses the dirt that people gather from the ground.

I can imagine the disciples not knowing how to react in light of this major faux pas…in their minds Jesus, their Master and Lord shouldn’t be performing this kind of service to his lowly disciples…

Peter managed to muster up some courage and tried to stop Jesus from washing his feet. When we read about it in the bible it seems like Peter is trying to save Christ from the indignity of becoming like a mere servant…but Peter did not understand that Jesus had come to serve…he was a servant leader who taught by example.

Jesus is the King of Kings, he has all the authority and power, yet he chooses to act as someone in a position of powerlessness and service.

After washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus asks a very crucial question: “Do you understand what I have done for you?”… “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

Jesus doesn’t want us to literally go around washing people’s feet…but he does want us to let go of our conventions in order to show love and appreciation for each other.

Concluding Thoughts

Paul encourages the church to be like Christ in his humility…

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2 5-11

According to Paul, we shouldn’t hold on to any kind of status, position, or social conventions but we should follow Christ’s example…

Have you ever thought you are too cool/old/young/smart/clean/mature in order to serve others?

Or conversely, have you ever thought that someone is too bad/lost/immature/annoying/dirty for you to reach out in love to that person?

I know I am guilty of having done that…but when I think that Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords did not think of himself as being too much of anything in order to humbly serve others…I can only pray that God will help me gain humility…because those who go down the path of humility are brought up in God’s sight…and Jesus is an example worth following.