#LentWithESC – Day 37

Passion for Finding Christ in Community and Service

Written by Kevin Smallwood

Lawrence House Service corps member

Words have meaning, they sometimes give direction, they can be ambiguous, or definite but most importantly they have power embedded within them. For this reason I want to clearly define how the word passion will be used and approached within this reflection. The first definition of word will be used to relate to the passion, or suffering of Jesus Christ as it reveals his humility, sacrifice and love; the second will refer to a strong fondness or enthusiasm for something or someone.

In celebrating Maundy Thursday, Jesus washing his disciple’s feet and his partaking in last supper with his disciples are two significant events that happen before his passion, or suffering, on the cross. Today our world is full of the promotion and embodying of self-interest, you can see it on reality television where lies, greed, illusions, and betrayal thrive as themes for entertainment and even in our institutions where boundaries have been drawn between “us” and “them”. This is exactly the opposite of what Christ taught us in his last days. By washing the feet of one whom he already knew would betray him, are we not able to see that in order to find Christ we have to understand that love transcends all through humility and sacrifice. Jesus performed an act of humility that he dares us to perform each day for each other as his faithful students and servants. The gospel of John states that “…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”. Hidden in Jesus’ words and language is a call for us to be an intentional, faithful community under Christ.

What I realized by being at Lawrence House is that I am always passionate to find Christ in community. For example, my housemates and I treated ourselves to a night at an Italian restaurant where we could just enjoy a nice meal and catch up with each other. Before eating, the four of us joined hands and prayed over the food in thanksgiving for Christ’s sacrifices and in celebration of fellowship, but it wasn’t until the check came that I had a personal spiritual experience of Christ’s love. When the waitress asked if the check was one or split, with pleased bellies and smiles the table resounded in a unified “ONE”. I sat back in that moment and reflected on how by sharing in community, in love, and under Christ we were more Christ disciples than ever. We are one and living in an intentional community has made me more attentive of others interests, and here at Lawrence House we freely share in each other’s passions and work, which is made easier through our common passion and love for Christ. It is in the final hours of Jesus’ life that we as Christians are to not only celebrate, but to continuously and actively search for new ways to experience, and live into, as the Gospel states, “a new commandment, that you love one another”.