Washing Feet, Watching Soccer, and Making a Connection
|I was asked to preach today in Mexico. In Spanish. After all my time here, I still consider myself only conversant in the language, so reluctantly, I said yes.|
My text was John 13 where Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. I was focusing on his treatment of Judas. According to scripture, Satan had already entered Judas when Jesus knelt to wash his feet.
This is important to me because Jesus shows that we are called to serve not just those we like, but those we despise as well.
Tough teaching in any language, but even tougher for me in Spanish. I think I did alright. In any event, I haven´t yet been run out of Mitla.
After church, we ate together and then I sat down with the pastor to watch the U.S./Mexico Gold Cup Soccer Final. After a scoreless first half, the U.S. team got the bums rush in the second period.
During one 11 minute stretch, El Tri [the Mexican team] scored three times. I have never seen a blowout like this before. With any luck, the score could have been 10-0, as the Americans were spared further embarrassment by some outstanding goaltending.
The only thing that made this game watchable was the Spanish language announcing crew. They could hardly contain themselves as they looked for for words to describe what was happening. We were pulverized, asleep, cadavers, and on vacation at various times during the game according to them. It was hysterical.
But I bring this up not to bash our hapless team, although it is fun, but to point out that effective cross cultural mission happens when those serving know about, and are comfortable in the local culture. It gives you the ability to speak into someone´s situation even when you are a foreigner.
As I started my sermon today, I mentioned that I was going to keep it short so that we could watch the U.S. beat Mexico. As were getting pasted, I received a text message from one of the youth in the church razzing me for our team.
It was the best part of my day because I knew I had made a connection and could now take the next steps in helping her walk more faithfully with Jesus.