Footprints daily reflection: 9 April

An embarrassing experience. 

Author: Bishop Ken Clarke

Journey through Lent with Christian Aid's series of reflections called Footprints

Bible reading

John 13: 1-17, 31b-35

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

John 13: 14,15


Have you ever had an embarrassing experience? Of course you have. I have had many! When it is a really embarrassing one… we never forget it! I still remember one from 51 years ago! The disciples would never forget their embarrassment at what happened in that Upper Room not long before Jesus was crucified.

It was just before the Passover Festival. They had been travelling. Their feet were dusty and dirty. The custom was that the servants would wash the feet of the travellers. Instead, the Rabbi got up from the table, took off His outer garments and wrapped a towel around His waist. He poured water into a basin. He washed their feet. That was not the custom. Rabbi’s didn’t do that.

But Jesus was a Rabbi of a different kind. He is King of a different Kingdom. Graham Kendrick so accurately describes Him as the Servant King. His Kingship is marked by service, not status. His DNA is not pride but humility. He totally practises what He preaches. He teaches through His words and His life. He has given us an example to follow…. an example of selfless service! Loving Him is expressed in loving others. Compassion for people, caring for the needy, concerns about our climate culture and the human condition are all marks of the Christ of Christianity. They are also marks of agencies like Christian Aid.

He highlights one of the supreme identifying marks of the Church…“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.”


“So let us learn how to serve

And in our lives enthrone Him

Each others needs to prefer

For it is Christ we are serving.”





thank you for your inspiring example of radical generous service.

In the power of your Holy Spirit help us to follow your example

and make a difference wherever we are.

May your disciples be love givers and world changers. 



Bishop Ken Clarke is the retired Bishop of Kilmore Elphin and Ardagh. He also served for many years with the South American Mission Society (SAMS). He is married to Helen and they have 4 daughters and 5 grandchildren.