“The greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11)
This new normal has become more burdensome with each passing day; hunkering down, wearing masks, and unemployment lines are horrible realities. And yet, surprising heroes are popping up daily like that crop of hospital beds sprouting in the midst of city parks and convention centers.
Sacrificial service is the newest gold medal sport in this year of Olympic athletes on pause. The rightful champions are clearing hurdles, breaking records, and doing floor routines no one anticipated a short while ago.
Nurses braving wild scenarios in crowded hospital wings, scientists corralling super-human strength in order to discover a cure. Teachers are re-inventing their careers online; pastors are preaching from newfangled platforms. Parents are simultaneously juggling their children’s lessons and newly devised work responsibilities while scouring supermarkets for basic supplies for elderly parents. All this while maintaining calm as every news update provides occasion for a full-scale panic attack.
Drawing from a reservoir within, from a place we hardly knew existed, men and women, compromised and resourceful, are acting out service in a million incredible ways. All across our world, and in our own backyards, we are learning of people sacrificing for others at a high personal cost.
Easter just flew past on the calendar, and we were reminded again that Jesus Christ demonstrated supreme sacrifice, modeling first what he asked us to do. “Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves…But I am among you as the one who serves” (Luke 22:26-27).
Our Savior stands among us still “as one who serves.” His Spirit within us will give us the courage to think of others, rather than ourselves, to serve when we may think we have the right to be served. He will provide strength, endurance, and grace to do more than we ever thought ourselves capable.
Jesus living within us will keep us level headed, grounded in his Word, enabling us to quit complaining and act as if, as his sons and daughters, we actualy believe the scores of promises and principals he left for us, for such a time as this.
For precisely a time just like this.
Elizabeth A. Mitchell