In Dire Dawa (Ethiopia) stands a pole barn structure, with no structural walls, and a mud floor. For the passer-bye, it would not look like much, but for the faithful, it’s a Church of the Nazarene. As I stood listening to the pastor sing praises in a language I did not know; I was warmed by the fact that he was my brother in the faith. As he joyously clapped his hands and danced back and forth leading the congregation in praise, I saw firsthand the attitude of gratitude that comes from serving the Lord.
From a western eye some would have trouble counting this as a church, but from the faithful, it was a vibrant church, on fire for God. What makes a church is not a building but it’s people, and on display, that Sunday morning was a church that had an attitude of gratitude for the things God had done for them to worship in that space. As I stood to preach, the Lord revealed to me a deep love for the people that I had just met. The humility, the faithfulness, and the desire for Christ were so apparent that it reverberated through them into me. The spirit of gratitude was on full display.
At the end of the message, I asked the pastor to come forward so that I could humble myself and wash his feet as Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. As I began to share through an interpreter, the pastor started to weep in humility that a westerner would wash his feet and not the other way around. Regardless of language, our hearts meshed into one as the Lord directed our spirits that day.
I was grateful that God had enabled me to travel to the desert of Ethiopia to meet this humble servant of God, and that I was able to express my humility back to him by washing his feet. In the week that followed, this act was done over and over with other pastors and district leaders. Each time I washed a leader's foot, I imagined Christ doing this to his disciples, and I would become overwhelmed by the wonder of the Spirit and would kiss their feet as Christ spirit embraced his disciples.
I wonder if this Christ season would you be willing to humble yourself before others? Would you allow the Spirit to lead you into an act of service? This Christ season, have an attitude of gratitude and serve others with your gifts. I believe God is calling His church to humble herself before him and to have an attitude of gratitude in all that she does. Let it begin with you.
Rev. Desmond Barrett
Lead Pastor at Louisville Grace Community
Kentucky District NMI President
4308 Taylorsville Road
Louisville, Ky. 40220
"Don't Go. Be."