Names of Christ: Who do you say that I am?
Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.
And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.
My first call out of seminary was to serve as the Program Director at Bethelwoods Camp and Conference Center in South Carolina. In addition to a thriving summer camp program and year-round events, our ministry also included hospitality to retreat groups at the site. Several times a month, part of my duties included being the weekend host. This meant providing a ministry of hospitality; welcoming the group, leading mealtime blessings, facilitating any activities, and checking-in on them throughout their stay. It also involved cleaning up after the group. This meant turning off lights, locking doors, and pulling all the trash from the buildings and taking it to the dumpster. Some groups would do their own meals and that meant big bags filled with food trash. I remember one evening slinging trash bags into the back of the truck and trash “juice” dripping out of the bag and down my legs and between the toes of my sandal-clad feet. I grumbled something about how I had gone to seminary to sling trash and gets mess on myself. Grumble grumble.
The next day, I remembered that was exactly why I went to seminary.
I went to prepare, train, and ultimately answer God’s call to be a servant. Christ gives us the perfect example of how we are to relate to one another. We are called to love, serve, and care for others; and that means friends, family, strangers, and even enemies. Christ calls us to be just like Him, a servant. Every day we should seek to find ways to serve those around. How can we care for our neighbor? How can we show friendship to the stranger? How can we exhibit compassion for the broken? Sometimes we need to remember that God came to join humanity as Jesus and to experience all that life has to offer: the joys, the sorrows, and the mess. Jesus reminds us that none of us are above getting dirty and serving others. Today, I invite all of us to consider how we can be a more faithful disciple and servant of Christ.
Holy Servant, thank You for coming to Earth to show us how to live and to redeem us. You lived a life based on giving, loving, and serving those who need You most. Strengthen us to be Your servants and to do the same. Empower us to look for how we can serve others and You in both our words and deeds. In Your name we pray, Amen.