The Order of the Towel
From the desk of …
I sincerely believe that if Christ were on earth today he would be a card-carrying member of the Community Care Ministries of The Salvation Army, because he belonged to “The Order of the Towel” while he lived among us.
“Jesus knew that the Father had given Him everything and that He had come from God and would return to God. And how He loved His disciples! So He got up from the supper table, took off His robe, wrapped a towel around His loins, poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel He had around Him.” (John 13:3-5, Living Bible).
Chist made it clear that true ministry is grounded in love that must translate into service. At the moment when Jesus knew he would die on the cross, he was also aware that all of God’s power and glory was his. Instead of being prideful, he showed supreme humility. Love is like that—willing to perform the most menial service (washing feet was the office of a slave) and delight in doing it. Love cannot remain by itself. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.
The Bible uses the term “leader” only six times. More times than not, the term used to refer to leadership in the Bible was “servant.” Jesus used the term, not as a low value role, but to imply greatness. Only once in the Scripture did Jesus actually announce that what he was doing was an “example” to those who were watching. In the 13th chapter of John, he tells the disciples that he washed their feet in order in order to set an “example” for them. Jesus taught his disciples through his own sincere interest in individuals and their problems. True greatness is achieved in selfless service to others. Servanthood is not slavish conformity but service with joy, commitment, and a motivation that is prompted by Christ himself. Albert Einstein said, “It is high time that the ideal of success be replaced by the ideal of service.”
Mother Teresa had this to say about service, “I never look at the masses as my responsibility. I look at the individual. I can love only one person at a time. I can feed only one person at a time. You get closer to Christ by coming closer to each other. So you begin…I picked up one person—maybe if I hadn’t picked up that one person I wouldn’t have picked up 42,000. My whole work is only a drop in the ocean. But if I didn’t put the drop in, the
ocean would be one drop less.” Mother Teresa was a member of “The Order of the Towel.”
We have approximately 8,000 Community Care Ministries members in the Western Territory who demonstrate their love for Christ and others through service. They reflect their partnership with God by caring for those who need them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They have Christ’s vision that sees people with a variety of needs, and they move with Christ’s love to do something about it. They have their “sleeves rolled up,” ready to represent Jesus in an unlimited field of service. They help those in need to realize that someone cares about them and that God cares about them. They are members of “The Order of the Towel.”
I would encourage you to discover the excitement of investing in the lives of others. Remember that you are responsible, not for doing all the good that needs to be done in the world, but for doing what God has planned for you. “A wide door of opportunity for effectual [service] is open to you—one great and promising.” (I Corinthians 16:9, The Amplified Bible) If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, learn to be a servant—become a member of “The Order of the Towel.”