One of the questions I routinely get relates to the signature line when I sign correspondence. Unless it’s a business letter or an email, I usually put Peace and Towels as the closing remark to a letter.

In John 17 just before Jesus is crucified, he gathers his followers into the upper room for one last meal. At the beginning of the meal he gives them some instruction and tells them that he is offering them a peace that the world cannot offer them and then he puts a towel around himself and washes the disciples feet. Peace and towels then is a way of saying that there will not be any peace until we fundamentally restructure how we think about power and service. There will not be a lasting peace until we follow the example of Christ and become servants and wash feet.

This past Sunday many churches celebrated the festival of Christ the King. Most kings get servants to do their dirty work and to do as they are commanded. But not the King of the Church – instead he lays himself down, offering us a different type of king to follow. One who gets dirty and leads by example, becoming a servant.

This week I ask you to follow this kind of King who would become a servant and find in his example an upside down idea of power. Maybe as we trip along behind him, trying to out serve each other, we will make the world a more peaceful place, filled with tenderness, mercy, justice and light.

Peace and Towels,

Joe Sellepack


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