To be Great is to Serve

November 5, 2017

Jesus is clear as to what highway to take to the Kingdom of God.  He tells us that this road must begin and end with servanthood.  In a time when superhero movies and costumes fill society, we have become enamored with power and forces of evil being overcome by super powers.  At a time when we can get worried about the news, when the proliferation of nuclear arms that North Korea has and the range in which they can be launched, counter measures of power seem to bring peace.  Yet the true power lies in exactly the opposite place.  Jesus the Son of God washed the feet of His disciples.  The One who is the Word of God, who always was and always will be, tells His followers greatness comes in the form of being a servant.  The powerlessness of this insight is hard to embrace and imagine.  Yet, when one is washing the feet, one is not worried about who is the strongest or who has the most power.  Rather one is simply and humbly reverencing the journey of the other with dignity and respect.

This is such a paradox.  This is such a posture of disbelief.  How can being a servant and a slave be great?  God’s ways are so far beyond our ways; God’s ways are so different than those of our society.  The tension seems to get greater these days and the hopelessness of not being able to do anything seems to cripple many.  Our sense of powerlessness paralyzes many.

Jesus invites His followers to avoid getting caught up in it.  Jesus invites His disciples to look down to the ground and see the feet of others who have traveled a long journey carrying their crosses.  He invites them to embrace them with compassion.  Everyone has that super power.  Everyone has that choice.  He offered a way for everyone to be powerful.  In the Sermon on the Mount, He said blessed are the poor, the hungry and those filled with sorrow.  This place is so far removed from where society wants to take us.  Blessed are we who follow His way.

Reverend John J. Ouper