Thursday, June 27, 2013

As One Who Serves

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

Many people have been caught up in Downton Abbey, the English series about a wealthy household in challenging times. Now folks are having Downton Abbey themed parties, and I have noticed that everyone dresses us as the aristocracy and not as the servants. How vivid our imaginations are, that with the proper clothing and pretense we might all be royal and important.

Jesus is spending his last hours with his disciples. They are clueless as usual. They see themselves as a group of religious insiders, close to the throne, as it were, and believe they are impervious and protected by God. Jesus is trying to teach them the authentic way to be close to God, by giving up on lofty self aggrandizement and leaning in to help with love and compassion. We humans want to be important and/or famous, but God would have us be those who live for others, living humbly so that others might thrive as well.

Today I ask God to help me be humble at all times. May we offer our lives in service to God and others, so that our offering might turn hearts to God and each other. May we be know as those who are close to God by our humility and our kindness to all.

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