“You know that in this world kings are tyrants, and officials lord it over the people beneath them.But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must become your slave. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28 New Living Translation
Hierarchy is part of our lives.
– “I came in third in the spelling contest.”
– “I have 27 people who work under me.”
– “I used to have to do those things before I had an assistant.”
– “As soon as I get this promotion I’ll give the orders, not take them.”
We move through life with a internal org chart in mind. We’re constantly moving people around that chart as we evaluate their importance. Where do they fit onto it? Are they equal with me, above me or (hopefully) below my position?
With no servant available, nobody offered to wash feet at the last supper because no one could figure out who was the lowest on the totem pole. The thinking probably went like this: “I may not be the top of the twelve, but I’m certainly not at the bottom!”
It’s natural to denigrate those below and suck up to those above. It’s the way it works. It’s been that way for a long time. Everybody acts that way.
Until Jesus descended into greatness and washed all of their feet. Talk about upsetting the natural order of things! “For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.”
And doesn’t that put the heart of God into perspective. Isn’t that the very atmosphere of the manger? Could the ‘humility of the Incarnation’ take some of the stress out of the season? Could there actually be freedom in a willingness to move down on the org chart?
Might giving ourselves in service to those around us give us what’s been missing in the way we celebrate?
God never intended Christmas to be hard on us.
This week, celebrate fully. Engage the Babe’s birthday with abandonment, but with humility. Grasp the eternal truth that it really is more blessed to give than to receive. Take advantage of commerce without succumbing to commercialism. Give the merchants what is theirs, but give God what He’s looking for … a grateful, serving heart.
And have a merry, stress-less Christmas.
Start the new year with Fresh Heart For a New Day … a new Fresh Heart devotional for each day of 2015. Order on amazon.com, Barnes and Noble,or from your local Christian bookseller.