Coming Clean About Ourselves – A Sermon On John 13:1-17, 31-35

Maundy Thursday – John 13:1-17, 31-35

Here’s my question. What in you needs to come clean tonight? And what is your fear about that?

This is not about whether you will wash someone’s feet or take off your shoes and socks and let your feet be washed. This is about your own sense of worthiness and whether you are enough. 

I wonder if the question of worthiness is why more people usually come to church on Good Friday than tonight. Maybe it’s easier to glory in the cross than the basin. We’re okay with Jesus dying for our sins but not okay with him washing our feet. I think the same reason lies behind both of those things: we don’t feel worthy.

“You will never wash my feet,” Peter said to Jesus. I don’t know what’s going on with Peter and I don’t know what’s going on with you tonight, but I think most of us live with a contaminated sense of worth. 

I think our sense of worth gets contaminated

  • By the secrets we keep about ourselves – our history, things we’ve done, things that were done to us, the fantasies in our head, the addictions that possess us;
  • By guilt, shame, regrets, embarrassment;
  • By our education, job, income, our body, the family we grew up in, the way we were raised;
  • By the ways in which we let other peoples’s words or opinions define us, determine our worth, or limit who we are and who we might become;
  • By our failures and procrastinations, the things we always wanted to do but never did, the opportunities we squandered, and the dreams we never fulfilled;
  • By the betrayals of ourselves, others, and Jesus;
  • By our critical and judgmental self-talk, insecurities, fears, and self-doubts;
  • By the ways we are constantly measuring our lives, comparing, competing, and keeping score.

I wonder what those things bring up for you tonight, what they feel like. I wonder if any of them have contaminated your sense of worth. I wonder what else you would add to my list.  

This is our night to strip bare the altar of our life and come clean. It asks us to be vulnerable, brutally honest with ourselves, and to make a confession. But it’s not the kind of confession you are thinking about right now. It is not a confession of guilt but a confession of your worth, dignity, and the original beauty of your creation.

Regardless of who you are, what you’ve done or left undone, what has or has not happened in your life, what you do or do not believe, you have a share with Jesus. The basin of his love for you never runs dry. It didn’t for Peter. It didn’t for Judas. And it won’t for you.

Imagine coming clean and leaving here tonight with a worthiness quotient higher than the one with which you came.

Holy Week 2021
+ Palm Sunday: Working Out Our Life
+ Monday in Holy Week: Fragrancing Life
+ Tuesday in Holy Week: What Troubles Your Soul?
+ Wednesday in Holy Week: The Night Of Betrayal


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