Another Sunday — Sojourn II

This entry is part of my series on my on-going “church journey” that I’ll be documenting as it takes place. You can read about other visits with the “journey” tag.

This past Sunday, I was back at Sojourn, teaching kids again.

On a practical note, I am still working on my approach. I’ve been doing this since January, and am still finessing it. I think I’m doing much better than I was in the beginning, but I’m still working kinks out. This month I think was not quite as good as the two before it, but I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe next month with be better. And, as with improv shows, I’m open to the idea that sometimes the audience is just in a different place from one to the next, regardless of my work.

The lesson was about love and service, and specifically about Christ washing the apostles’ feet at the Last Supper. The kids were taught that the act was a demonstration on Christ’s part that He loved His apostles, but also a lesson to them that just as He was not too good to take on the role of a servant in washing their feet, they should be willing to humble themselves to serve others. A good reminder.

The funny thing is, this story has become so linked in my mind with the Biblical picture of marriage that I have to remind myself that, strictly speaking, it has nothing to do with marriage at all. At least, there’s no direct mention or application to marriage in the passage.

Everybody likes to get all debate-y about the verses that instruct that wives are supposed to submit to their husbands, but generally are much less concerned about the verses that say husbands are supposed to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Possibly because “love” is such a much more agreeable thing to do than “submit”; and possibly because it’s easy to parse “as Christ loves the church” modifier to mean something as simple as, like, “a lot,” which we’re totally comfortable with.

I did some research last year about what that phrase might actually mean, Biblical ways in which Christ loves, and how they might apply to the role of a husband in marriage. But if I had to pick one passage to be the answer, to serve as a picture of what that might mean, that would be it — Christ humbling himself into the role of a servant to wash the apostle’s feet. The gesture is very much one of putting yourself beneath another, submission not just in authority but in worth; a higher calling of putting one’s spouse ahead of oneself than wives are called to.

Next week — back on the road. I think I may be supposed to go to some place called Grove Baptist, but I’ll let you know when I’m done.