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Downwardly Mobile Service (Excerpt from Chapter 10 of my new book, Be Still and Listen)

For many Christians, the foot washing stands out as one of the most significant events in Jesus’ life. Jesus was known for teaching by example. So, we can’t miss the significance. Jesus does this downwardly mobile service before his final day. Thereby, he establishes the service model. Any who follow Jesus will follow in similar kinds of humble service.

The Jewish and Roman culture of Jesus’ time wasn’t a whole lot different from our own: the point of life was (and is) to succeed, or get on top, and once on top to stay on top, or else attempt to go further up. Salaries need to be ever-increasing. Houses need to keep getting larger. Vacations, longer. Perks, more of them. But here is a man who was in some ways already on top – who was rabbi, teacher, master to these disciples – who suddenly got down on the bottom and began to wash their feet. In that one act Jesus symbolically overturned the social order. Even his own disciples couldn’t comprehend it and were shocked.

Jesus wanted his followers to model downwardly mobile service with their lives. Jesus wanted us to approach the odious smells and the grime in between the toes, to get into the cracks and crevices of broken and dysfunctional human lives.

On the evening of the foot washing a dispute arose among the disciples as to who was greatest. Pointedly, Jesus did not deny the human instinct of competition and ambition. He simply redirected it: “The greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. (Luke 22:26)” In other words, the dominion of heaven is based on downwardly mobile service.

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Amazon is offering the kindle version of Be Still and Listen for $6.99.

Also by Amos Smith, Healing the Divide: Recovering Christianity’s Mystic Roots

How to Write a Devotional: Plus How to Get Them Published – If you read devotionals, you already know how they can be a true blessing. A devotional can uplift you when you’re feeling discouraged, sad or lonely. It can allow you to feel a keen sense of fellowship with another Christian, even if the two of you never actually meet. And, if you are feeling called to write devotionals, know that you have a unique opportunity to bless others and make a genuine difference in their lives. This course takes you step by step through the process, and then guides you towards publishing, if that is your goal.

Drawing from the wisdom of monastic life, modern psychology and best practices in personal productivity, the Monk Manual provides a daily system that will help you find clarity, purpose, wisdom, and peace in the moments that make up your life.

BE STILL AND LISTEN: Experience the Presence of God in Your Life

ISBN: 978-1612618654
Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Number of pages: 160
Publication Date: June 12th, 2018

Where to Buy

BE STILL AND LISTEN books are available at
many fine bookstores including. . .

Audio Book:


Healing The Divide: Recovering Christianity’s Mystic Roots

ISBN: 978-1-62032-365-6
Dimensions: 6 x 9
Number of pages: 316
Publication Date: March 29, 2013

Where to Buy

Healing The Divide books are available at
many fine bookstores including. . .