Life Notes—September 17, 2009
“But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’” Mark 9:34-35
As I prepare to write this week’s Life Note about servanthood, I try to model what it is to be a good and faithful servant. I contemplate what I can say that might be relevant to you. I pray for God’s guidance, asking what God would have me say to you. I have read and reread this week’s scripture looking for something useful I can glean from it for you. Finally, I try to sit in silence and listen for God’s guidance of my words—all for you. Isn’t that what being a servant is all about—me, doing something for you?
So, here I sit in semi-silence listening for something for you and what do I hear? I hear me talking to myself about things I want to do for me! Even now I’m thinking how yummy one of the cookies Carrie made would taste for me. This is not what I had in mind, but it is exactly what makes me such a poor servant. Every time I try to focus on serving you, I end up focusing on what’s in it for me! Lame? Yes, but too true. And yet, that is exactly what Jesus’ twelve disciples, those specifically chosen to carry his gospel to all peoples and all nations for all time were doing. They, in his presence, were arguing over which of them was the greatest. Me! No, me! No, it’s ME!!!
What makes being a good servant so difficult for so many of us? It’s me! I would love to help serve the LINK meal after church on Sunday, but then I would miss the football game at noon. (If they’d schedule the meal at 3:45, I’d be there for sure…) I know how much a phone call or note would mean to a number of my aging relatives, but between work and kids and the yard and all the me-items in life, I find it difficult to do anything for you. And yet, if the disciples found a servant-attitude so difficult, why should it be any different for us? It requires constant doses of will, grace and persistence.
Tom’s sermon title this Sunday is “Being the Greatest Servant” based on the scripture from Mark 9:30-37. Life worship is at 10:45 in Brady Hall. Traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00. Contemporary worship on the west campus is at 9:30. Who are you serving in your life? Who should (or could) you be serving? In spite of my me-ness, I notice I have finished another Life Note. Was it just another me exercise? Maybe, but I sincerely hope there is something here for you, too. Me serving me…and you.
Come home to worship this Sunday. Your imperfect and selfish servant will be looking for you…
Greg Hildenbrand, Life Worship Music Coordinator