A few years ago I wrote a Lenten daily devotional for my church. It focuses on Jesus’s passion and how watching Him live out those days can bring transformation to our lives. From now, Ash Wednesday, through Resurrection Sunday, instead of writing once a week, I will post those devotionals every day. As you travel with Jesus to the cross, I hope that you will grow deeper in love with Him and that you will more closely resemble Him.
A dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.” (Lk. 22:24-26, NIV)
Jesus lived a lifestyle of service to others. He fed hungry masses. Washed dirty feet. Hung out with unpopular people. Patiently tolerated interruptions, even forfeited eating and sleeping in order to help others. Jesus was out of sync with the culture around Him that was always maneuvering for status and position and the perks that went with them.
Jesus calls us also to be servants. He asks us to put away our striving for recognition and instead seek to help and lift up others. And when we follow in His footsteps, we bring His presence into the world around us. We resemble Him. We bring God’s kingdom a little closer.
Often during Lent, people will choose to give up something they like very much, like coffee or chocolate. What if this Lent you chose to give up needing to be served, needing to be first, needing to be noticed, needing to be comfortable? What if every day you intentionally served another person instead of having things your way? For example, instead of taking the closest parking spot, you could take the farthest one. Return someone’s shopping cart. Serve your spouse in a way that he or she usually serves you. Offer to do an errand for an older person. Spend time with a child. Do some yard work for a busy neighbor. Make an anonymous gift to someone who’s unemployed. Bring an extra Starbucks to work in the morning for someone who sits near you. You get the idea.
As you do these simple acts of service, pray this simple prayer: Jesus, reveal Yourself to this person as I follow Your example by serving instead of seeking to be served.
Thanks Cynthia for this excellent and timely word to move away from the striving for position and recognition that is so prevalent in our Christan world and impacts all of us … and to quietly move toward humble service to those who are often considered to be the least.
[…] forward to following along with Cynthia’s devotionals this Lent. Maybe you will want to, too. Journey to the Cross–February 18. Photo courtesy of digidreamgrafix and […]
I am so happy you’re doing this and so excited to follow along! This is beautiful. I will take it to heart. I agree that it makes much more sense (and will have more impact) than giving up coffee!
May these simple acts of service during this time leading up to Resurrection Sunday become habits and the very fabric of our daily lives. May service simply become as natural as breathing, each and every day until our Lord returns.
Thanks, Cynthia! This makes more sense to me than giving up coffee!