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Becoming more human: how to move from survival to service

20/11/2022 - Matt Destry

John 13:1-9

1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

a/ Decline of Christianity in Australia

b/ Decline in volunteering and connection to groups

c/ Increase in loneliness, isolation and mental health challenges


Where does it come from? : a brief (and incomplete) history

Now … (through the gifts of advancing technology) THE GREAT DISRUPTOR

It’s time to more from survival to service: connection to the bigger story creates community and deepens humanity


1/ The creator of the world becomes the servant of all

2/ To survive is human, to serve, divine

3/ Community comes at a cost


It’s time to serve and give: some questions:

I’m new here. How long should I ‘sit’?

Where are the greatest needs right now?

I’m already tired, stressed and overcommitted. Won’t serving make it worse?

I’ve heard of (and experienced) too many bad things in churches – won’t this community be the same?

This church is big and has heaps of resources – surely it doesn’t need my time and money?


John 13:12-17

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.