I’m grateful for the personal details recorded by the Apostle John about what he heard in the upper room hours before Jesus journeyed to the cross. In one of the most profound and intimate moments of scripture, we get a glimpse into Jesus’ prayer to the Father, illuminating not only His own purposes, but those for His immediate followers, and for all who would become His followers through them.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” —John 17:20-23 NIV
The purpose and promise of the resurrection spill forth from this prayer. God is redeeming His people, uniting them in His love and empowering them through this fellowship to be representatives of Himself to the world. This prayer resonates with us at Frontier Fellowship, as we feel called to the complementary purposes of partnership and frontier mission. These purposes are inextricably linked, not only locally, but globally. When we partner with His followers in and near the least-reached areas of the world, we see Jesus’ prayer in action: the world observing the love of God in His followers, many for the very first time.
As we think about Jesus’ prayer and our purpose this Easter, we do so as the world grapples with the devastating physical, psychological and social effects of COVID-19. What do these weighty theological matters mean in the midst of such chaos? They mean everything. In a defining act of humility, the Lord of Creation demonstrated the meaning of His prayer that same evening when He collected a towel and a basin full of water and washed the dust-covered feet of His followers. “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:14-15).
So, we become feet-washers, at home and abroad. Serving and being served through the physical and spiritual needs of our global Christian family. We do so with the knowledge that as we serve, we reflect our Lord and Teacher, the one who conquered death and invites all people into new, full and eternal life in Him.
If you would like to wash the feet of our global partners who are ministering amidst the coronavirus outbreak, please visit the special COVID-19 Response page on our website. There you will find prayer requests, as well as an opportunity to give and help alleviate the resource burden on communities that are already stretched beyond their means. Any proceeds above and beyond these emergency needs will be distributed to our partners as needed for other emergency relief.
Blessings and grace in Christ,
Richard L. Haney