Tuesday, October 21, 2014

God the Servant

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.”  Luke 12:35-38

Maybe it is because I've been doing a lot of reading about the early Roman Empire lately, but one word from this passage struck me today: servant. Jesus was appealing to his followers to learn to emulate those of the lowest class. I find this striking because of what it says about Jesus' attention versus the typical attention focus.

Those who want to become somebody typically look to those they consider to be somebody. We look to the powerful, the influential, those with money, those with what we want. And then either we hate them, or we get in camps behind them, or beat ourselves up over how we aren't them, or we try to figure out how to be them. But however we respond, our attention is focused.

Jesus' attention is focused on the most lowly. He shows his disciples his own pursuit, and so reveals something terribly profound about God.

Jesus tells us to wait with vigilance for the presence of the Master. We have been charged with a responsibility to carry out what the Master desires. We know what He desires both because He tells us but even more so simply because of living with Him.

But while his listeners are still trying to digest the directive to set aside their pride and become lowly in their own eyes, Jesus says something that surely would have made their heads spin: the Master Himself will become their servant! This is life in union with God! Just when we thought we have given everything and have laid our lives out as an offering, the Master comes with mercy that meets our needs, fills us, and humbles us even further, inflaming our hearts with love for Him and spurring us on to long for some opportunity for service.

The longer and the more sacrificial the wait, the deeper the blessing.

Our Father wants nothing to interrupt the flow of His giving to us and our giving back to Him. That is life with God.

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