Category Archives: Self-denial

More Basin Theology

It was said of Abba John the Persian that when some evildoers came to him, he took a basin and wanted to wash their feet. But they were filled with confusion, and began to do penance.

— Sayings of the Desert

Sin and guilt are peculiar concepts. Evildoers expect to be treated as such, and when they are surprised, they become confused. The servant attitude of the Abba spoke louder than words, and threw the weight of their sin and guiltmotherteresahelping crashing down upon them. Simply following the example of Jesus and being their servant was too much for them. Evildoers are armed with smooth words and crafty schemes, but the gospel of love renders them helpless. Basin theology, as exemplified by Jesus, is one of the  most power tools for spreading the gospel.

OUR CHALLENGE – Learn to be ready with gospel love and service to all who come our way.

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Basin Theology 1

One day a young, newly ordained priest, was having a conversation with a member of his congregation when the parishioner said, “You priests and preachers talk a lot about ‘do unto others,’ but when you get right down to it, it comes down to basin theology.”

The young priest, now very curious, asked, “Basin theology? What’s that?”

The insightful parishioner said, “Remember what Pilate did when he had the chance to acquit Jesus? He called for a basin and washed his hands of the whole thing. But Jesus, the night before his death, called for a basin and proceeded to wash the feet of the disciples. It all comes down to basin theology.”  From Wisdom Stories Blog

Basin theology, what an intriguing though! Life has two choices, one of giving your all to a situation. The other, is avoiding all responsibility. The basins mentioned in the story oJesus and the Basinf Holy Week are diametrically opposed. Jesus took the basin in order to humble Himself and serve others. Pilate used the basin to shirk responsibility.

Our challenge is how do we use our basins? Do we try to cleanse ourselves of responsibility or do we, like Jesus, use them to be servants to others. Take upon yourself the humble servant mentality of Jesus and follow His example as your journey through life.

PRAYER — Lord help me to see the importance of taking up the basin and experiencing the true spirit of Jesus.

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Maundy Thursday

John 13:1-15

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’ Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’ Jesus said to him, ‘One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.’ For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

T his passage says it all for this day of Holy Week.
Whose feet are you washing, and just as important, why?

Prayer: Loving Provider, you gather me in this upper room with your son, to be fed by your love. At that supper, Jesus told us to “love one another” and I know that is the heart of his gift, his sacrifice for me. I ask that I might find the source of my own heart, the meaning for my own life, in that Eucharist. Guide me to the fullness of your love and life.

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Denial

All Giza Pyramids in one shot. Русский: Все пи...

An Egyptian brother came to Abba Zeno in Syria, and accused himself to the old man about his temptations. Fill with admiration, Zeno said, ‘The Egyptians hide the virtues they possess and ceaselessly accuse themselves of faults they do not have, while the Syrians and Greeks pretend to have virtues they do not have, and hide the faults of which they are guilty.’

——-sayings of the Desert

One the hardest tasks of the Christ walk is the recognition of our own faults and failures. We find ourselves so wrapped up in our journeys that we often see the sins of others and overlook our own. The humble Egyptian, on the other hand, looked directly into his own soul and made confession. Jesus states in scripture, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” This pattern of self-denial, as exhibited by the Egyptian, is the model for all Christians.

Interestingly enough Abba Zeno gives us another little morsel of truth here as well. Our inability to perceive the reality of our circumstances and the hiding of virtues is played in contrast to the overstatement of our place in life. In short, the Abba saw the “greener grass” in Egypt while giving a blanket condemnation to his home region. We must never forget that God has given all that we need, and it is our calling to live into the opportunities that surround us.

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