“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The ultimate act of servanthood was played out when Jesus sacrificed his actual life to save millions of people that he had not yet physically met. Jesus gave it all. Literally. He didn’t have to. He is, after all, God’s son. He could have easily cried out, “Father, I don’t want to. I’ve changed my mind.” Throughout Jesus’ short life there are many scenarios we can look at, small to big, in which Jesus clearly shows us how to serve others. Jesus washed feet. He served dinner. Jesus healed. Jesus prayed. Jesus calmed the storm. Jesus was so profoundly in tune with his surroundings and others’ needs that He felt someone touch the hem of His cloak. I don’t think God wants us to inundate ourselves with massive projects of service to others 24/7. This would cause us to become unable to genuinely minister to others with the same dedication that Christ did. I do, however, think God wants us to serve where we are in the best way possible. Once again, the only true way to do this is by putting our own selfish desires to the side and thinking of others first. That may not always be comfortable. In fact, it won’t be. But God didn’t call us to be comfortable. How can we serve others where we are? We can start by listening. By remembering how it feels to be in different situations. We can stay after the meeting and help pick up trash instead of leaving the entire workload on one person. We can cook for the tired, new momma whose baby is keeping her up all night long. We can do yard work for the lady whose husband recently passed away. We might not be able to heal someone, but we certainly can send up prayers for them. Jesus was in the trenches, and that’s not glamorous. Yet, everywhere we look society is begging us to self-indulge. To make more money. To live well beyond our means. To go, go, go. To get the best for our self. I bet the devil loves Americans and our fast-paced lifestyle. He knows that when we are so wrapped up in our own selfish ambitions that we cannot spread the love of Jesus readily, which in turn makes us unable to help grow God’s Kingdom. To be more like Jesus we will need less self and more devotion to reach out and support our neighbors.
God, today I pray that you will continually remind me that I am not here to serve myself but to serve others. Help me see opportunities as they arise. Guide me in the direction that you would have me to help my neighbors. Help me remember that Jesus’ main focus was to serve others, and that should be my focus as well. Amen.