Friday, November 27, 2009
Leading by Serving
"It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28
Years ago, I worked in a restaurant as a hostess one summer. This restaurant in Cape May was open year round serving to the locals. During the summer, with several outside decks, it was a fast paced, busy placed especially on weekends. My job was to get people seated, make sure they were comfortable, and take names when we had a waiting list. Keeping people happy who are waiting on a table can be very challenging. Some people were rude from the get go, trying to tell me how important they were and how they didn't have to wait in line last time. When they were seated they were often insulting and demanding the whole time. Others were understanding and made me and the rest of the staff feel good. I always remember how I felt in those days and so try to treat the people who are waiting on me in stores and in restaurants with kindness. They deserve it. Jesus says it is these people who will be first.
Today, many people will be running to get great deals on Christmas presents. The will encounter many people who are doing their best to serve them. How will they be treated? Despite a recession and economic down turn, the competition for shopping and bargains has not flagged at all. Will people run over others just to get a deal?
It is hard to be joyful and gentle when everybody is competing and trying to win.
Today, I feel invited to be one of the people who are willing to wait, willing to stand in line, willing to be kind to the people who will serve me today, where ever I go. I feel invited by God to see the goodness and the possibilities in them, rather than judging them by their particular present station in life. I invite you to join me in making God's kingdom known by serving somebody - by putting their feelings and needs first. How different our world would be if we would stop for just a few minutes and serve another.