Wednesday, December 9, 2015
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There have been a number of movies and television shows about angels taking human form."Touched By An Angel" was a television series that ran for nine seasons. You can still find it in "re-run." I remember this particular episode (for some reason, it really stuck with me) where a young angel was kneeling at the feet of a man who I think had been a homeless guy. I think maybe he had been in prison, and he just was pretty unkempt. Didn't look like much of a match for an angel. But the angel had this basin of water, and the man was telling her not to do what she was about to do. The angel was about to wash this old guy's feet. But she looked at him with tears in her eyes and she gave an answer that came from deep in her heart. She said, "I have to do this so I remember who I am." That stuck.
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 to 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'" - now imagine them holding their breath, "Yeah, yeah, what is it?" - "'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, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many."
Jesus totally inverts our human idea of which position is really important. He told His disciples – and all of us His followers – to go for the highest title on earth; the one He chose, the one He lived: "servant." Though the "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 had 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 and it's your calling. And that is Gospel fact, not fiction. When we sacrifice our own comfort, our own needs, and our own pride for others, we are remembering who we are.
It's easy to forget that. Especially when your life is so full and so you become really 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. Strangely enough, 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 really to contribute to us.
Maybe we start to almost feel like a privileged character; entitled to some things. At that point, we have 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 to the point of dying for us. What's your agenda? Is it you? Or is it them?
No matter what positions you hold, no matter what recognition you receive, no matter who you are or what you do, it never changes 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 are unnoticed acts of kindness to be done and there's a lot of unlovable people to love. Look for those assignments, because they'll help you remember who you really are.