Sunday, October 13, 2013

Slave is a pretty strong word

But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 2:26-28

We are not to be like the Gentiles, the godless, lording over those under their authority.  Scrabbling for their titles, their corner offices, the head of the table. Always with an eye out for who is noticing. Like the scene when Jesus simply watches the dinner guests weasel their way into the seats of prestige. Rather than wrapping a towel about their waist and kneeling down to wash feet.

And last night, around the dinner table at Jack and Mary Anne’s, we talked about this very thing, the potency of the back row.  Because the ones who truly wield greatness are the ones kneeling.  Or the ones providing thoughtful feedback . Or available for a quiet cup of coffee every Monday morning. Maybe grading literary analysis essays one more time. And of course, bouncing the child upon the knee while reading good manner books aloud.

It’s not about standing up front. 

And that back row stuff holds a lot of responsibility as well, Today Nati and I are memorizing the verse, Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1, which doesn’t seem like much for memorizing, but the heart of it is an awareness of what is what. What matters.

Because Nati is not flashy or up front. But I imagine that on a team or in a classroom, she is whom folks look to because she lives life steadily and judiciously. With lots of grace.

And as I try one more stab at preparing her for going off into the big bad world I feel the weight of what matters. What parting shots can I add to her very full bubbling over cup passed on to her by her very intentional parents.

Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Our eyes on the ones who have gone before us, and way oh way up front, Christ, who shows us the way, giving His life as a ransom for many. 

Somehow this old truth has gripped me anew.  Every slight, every moment to bend, every moment to be silent is a moment of grace in which I have the opportunity to be like Him. For the joy set before me.