“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by 'I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.'”-Mother Teresa
The culture of today is all about increase. I must increase my education, my status, my income, my stuff. This is the true measure of worldly success. But as Christians, we are called to something completely different.
At the last supper before Jesus was crucified, He washed His disciples' feet. The culture of the day said it was the lowest among them who should wash feet. The servant. The slave. But Jesus turns culture upside down, getting on His knees, showing true servanthood to His followers. I can almost feel the tension in the room as Peter argues with Jesus, not wanting the Lord to wash his dirty, smelly, desert battered toes.
After their meal, and the first 'communion', a conversation starts. The text reads:
"Within minutes they were bickering over who of them would end up the greatest. But Jesus intervened: "Kings like to throw their weight around and people in authority like to give themselves fancy titles. It's not going to be that way with you. Let the senior among you become like the junior; let the leader act the part of the servant.
Who would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner? You'd rather eat and be served, right? But I've taken my place among you as the one who serves..." (Luke 22)
And again, in Matthew:
"Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you'll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you're content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty."
Jesus says the greatest in His Kingdom are the servants. Yes, the servants. The foot washers.
I love how counter-cultural Jesus calls us to live.
In a world where we rank people and classify each other based on things that don't matter - Christ steps in and says, 'No... you are children of God, you must live a different way.'
It is the servants among you who will be the greatest.
The nose wipers, the baby rockers, the laundry washers, the Moms who give of themselves for their family every single day. The Dad who plays tireless games of chase with the neighborhood kids who crave adult attention. Those who sit with the lonely in a nursing home and are never seen. The one who lends an arm to the elderly man at the grocery store and helps him to his car. The middle-aged woman who rocks babies who aren't her own. Those who embrace the people who the world sees as worthless. The one who sits patiently at a bed side, rubbing a young child's back until his fears are calmed and he falls into peaceful slumber.
The truth is, dear friend, if you are living a life of servanthood - you will likely have many days when you feel tired, worn out, and like no one cares or notices. You may not feel important today. But reject the lies and embrace the truth, precious one. If you are a servant, you are among the greatest in the Kingdom of God.
Praise God for this upside-down culture.