A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
“You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Luke 22:24-30
For some reason I have been thinking a great deal about Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz. The story has always been very powerful for me, and Dorothy has always been a hero to me. It is really the faithfulness of the three who go with her through her trials, their obvious needs put aside for the care and support of another. The complete stranger who turns their world upside down becomes their faithful companion and their reason for being healed and made new.
Jesus is at table with his disciples, in the final moments before their world falls apart. The last supper together and we hear Jesus making a final attempt to bring his teaching home to them. "Let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves." God's direction to us all to live as servants of all, to love with the faithfulness that endures the trials and never loses heart. God calls us to be a people who are willing to love during dark times as well as bright, and serve at all times living with joyful expectation.
Today as we draw close to the darkest day of the year, may we remember that we are all invited on a journey of service and faithfulness. May we be ready to jump up and serve others, knowing we are serving God as we do. And may we see the darkest times as being on the road with the Emmanuel, God with us, enduring through the trails and carried to the end. May we expect that Gos will give us new hearts, minds and courage to love and live as servants all.