It’s time for another fun, flexible family devotional! Just gather the items needed from around your house. Then choose which of the three Bible stories and application principles you think your kids need the most. Grab your kids and have fun teaching them about God!
Supplies: Bible, shallow basin (a bucket or disposable aluminum roasting pan will work if needed), water, towel
Procedure: Choose one of the following Bible stories and application principles to be the focus of your lesson.
- Abraham Entertains. Genesis 18. This is the story right before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Strangers pass by the area where Abraham and his family are encamped. Even though Abraham didn’t know they were sent by God (at first), he was very hospitable to them – even offering them water to wash their feet while food was being repaired. God commands us to be hospitable, and Abraham sets a great example.
- Jesus, Simon the Pharisee and Foot Washing. Luke 7:36-50. Jesus is a guest in the home of Simon, a Pharisee. A woman comes in and washes the feet of Jesus with her tears and anoints them with perfume. Simon is horrified Jesus would allow her to even touch him. Yet, Jesus explains to Simon that those who realize they have been forgiven of much, love greatly. (And points out Simon made no effort to allow Jesus to wash his feet.)
- The Last Supper. John 13. Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles at the Last Supper is a wonderful example of humble service to others – especially when you recall he washed the feet of Judas. God expects us to serve others with the same attitude Jesus had when washing the feet of the Apostles.
Gather your foot washing supplies and your family. Wash the feet of one of your kids or your spouse. As you are washing, explain that in Bible times, people wore sandals. Their feet became very dusty and dirty as they walked everywhere. When you visited someone’s home, they offered you what you needed to wash your own feet or (if they were rich) would have a servant wash your feet.
Share the Bible story you chose with your kids. As you discuss the story and it’s application, ask your kids why they think God mentioned the foot washing. Since it was expected in that time, it is as if God wants us to learn something from the foot washing itself. Ask your kids what attitude God wanted those people to have towards others from the story you chose. What attitude does God expect us to have when we interact with others?
Have your kids wash your feet or the feet of their siblings. Make sure each child has a turn (multiple basins will make it go more quickly). Your children will most likely protest or not do it in a very loving, tender fashion. Ask them why it was difficult for them to wash the feet of someone they love. How much harder would it be to wash the feet of someone who is mean to them or is homeless or a leper or a criminal?
Even though God doesn’t necessarily expect us to literally wash the feet of other people, he does expect us to treat others with the same attitude Jesus had when washing feet or Abraham had when entertaining strangers or that of the woman who washed the feet of Jesus with her tears . Brainstorm ways your family can practice the application principle from the Bible story you chose.