Our theme verse for the year is found in John 13, the chapter where Jesus famously washes his disciples’ feet at the Last Supper. In this shocking act, Jesus begins laying out a completely countercultural example of leadership, which is centered around humility, service, sacrifice, and love. With only hours of life remaining, Jesus chooses to wash the feet of his disciples. He is modeling the mandate that he gives in John 13:34-35, which says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Before his death, Jesus acknowledges that he will no longer be on earth, but promises the presence of the Holy Spirit to remind us of his mandate to love one another and to bring us his peace. In John 14: 25-27 Jesus says, “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Holy week is the foundation of our Christian faith and it represents both the great pain and sorrow that our life here on earth sometimes brings (Good Friday) and the hope, joy, and peace that comes from eternity with the Lord (Resurrection Sunday). This week, Jesus shows us strength in weakness, power in humility, and death giving way to life. As we reflect on this countercultural message from Jesus and examine our own lives, I pray that each one of our students and their families feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and the peace of Christ during Holy Week.