Another Word…by Gus Keiser

May 14, 2018

“But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be a slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

                                                                                                                                 Mark 10: 43-45

 Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I would ask you: What act, out of love for her, did you volunteer to do?  In what way did you serve her?  For that matter, when was the last time you volunteered to do something for any other person?  As a parent, you’ve probably done something selfless to serve your child or your children recently.  If you’re a husband, I would hope that yesterday you did something for your wife without her having to ask you to do so.  But if you’re a single person, possibly dealing with your first job, scraping together a living while trying to make ends meet, it’s possible that it’s been a while since you’ve had either the time or the resources to do some act of service.  In our minds, most of us know that we should be serving others, but there are those times when we don’t really know how to go about it, and, after all, talking about serving is always a lot easier that actually doing it.

Jesus served others throughout his ministry. When he served others, that act often involved self-sacrifice.  Ultimately, as we know, he sacrificed his life for our sins.  When we serve others, especially those who have no way of repaying us, we imitate Jesus.  We represent Christ to those we serve.  Author, Ken Leech writes, “Christian spirituality is the spirituality of the Poor Man from Nazareth who took upon himself the form of a servant. To follow the way of the kingdom is therefore to follow him who fed the hungry, healed the sick, befriended the outcast, and blessed the peacemakers.”

Jesus’ disciples were an interesting and eclectic group of volunteers. They came from different backgrounds and each held a different ideology.  And even with Jesus living and serving others right in front of them, often times they just didn’t seem to get it.  They wondered how they could be great.  But in today’s accompanying text we find Jesus answering them this way: “Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be a slave of all.”

 What Jesus provides for us here is the paradox of serving. When we choose to give ourselves away in service to others, we find ourselves.  When we empty ourselves in service, we find fulfillment.

At some point in almost everyone’s life, we find ourselves searching for identity and fulfillment. We look for it in repeated highs of promotions, exotic vacations, or with an endless parade of worldly possessions.  But the only real sense of fulfillment we should be feeling should come from serving God when we serve others in his name.  When we give ourselves away in service  to others, it is there that we’ll find meaning and joy in life that selfishness can never equal.

Lord, mold us, fill us, and use us in your name and for your glory. Amen.

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