Angels, angels, and more angels. Somehow, the world has suddenly gotten very interested in angels. In fact, one of America's most popular TV shows has been a positive show called "Touched by an Angel." It's about these two angels - sort of a rookie and a veteran - who are sent on various assignments to deliver God's messages to people who are in critical situations. Now, I've watched it every once in a while - and the one I saw recently was about the rookie angel's performance review by a senior angel. Now, in the process, they flashed back on the highlights of some of the situations where she had touched people's lives and they had touched hers. There was one brief excerpt from a previous show that really hit me hard, even though I don't know what the whole story was. The young angel was kneeling at the feet of a man who appeared to be a dirty old derelict. The angel had a basin of water - and the man was telling her not to do what she was about to do - wash his feet. But she looked up at him with tears in her eyes and gave an answer that obviously came from deep in her heart - "I have to do this," the angel explained, "so I remember who I am."
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Highest Title On Earth."
Our Word for today from the Word of God comes from Matthew 20:25. The disciples are having some problems because they all want o be the top dog on Jesus' team. The Bible says, "Jesus called them together and said, 'You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you'" - imagine them holding their breath - "'must be your servant.'" You can imagine their heads suddenly at half mast. "Whoever wants to be first must be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, and to give His life a ransom for many." Jesus totally inverted our human idea of what position is really important. He told His disciples - and all His followers - to go for the highest title on earth - the one He chose and lived - "servant." Though that "Touched by an Angel" episode is obviously fiction, the angel in it was thinking like Jesus. Although she had all the powers of an angel and messages directly from God, she didn't want to forget who she really was - a servant, a foot-washer, someone who is here to pour out her life in the service of others, not herself. Well, that's my calling - it's your calling - and that is Gospel fact, not fiction. When we sacrifice our own comfort, our own needs, our own pride for others, we are remembering who we are.
It's easy to forget that - when your life is so full and you become self-focused just to get it all done - or to get your needs met. Maybe you've developed a case of creeping self-importance recently. Well, strangely, when God starts using us, we tend to forget we are servants. We begin to think we're stars or heroes or someone who's above the dirty work, the little jobs, the needs of one person who has nothing to contribute to us, maybe privileged characters. At that point, we've left the blueprint of Jesus - for even though He was the mighty Son of God, His agenda was not to have others serve Him but to totally serve others. Well what's your agenda?
No matter what positions you hold, no matter what recognition you receive, no matter who you are or what you do, it does not change your real title - the one Jesus gave you - the one Jesus lived - servant of all. There are some feet to be washed, there's some dirty work to do, there's some unnoticed acts of kindness to be done, there are some unlovable people to love - look for those assignments. They will help you remember who you really are.