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On Whose Terms?

Apr 07, 2003 01:21 PM EDT

John 12:20-26 (NRSV)

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor."

Jesus said, "Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be."

-- John 12:26 (NIV)

DRIVING around the small town I live in, I often noticed an old woman carting her groceries home in a wheeled trolley. I felt sorry for her and offered to take her shopping once a week. "Friday afternoons will do," I decided. I went to see her, but on the way a disturbing image flashed through my mind. There I was, dressed in a servant's robe, pulling Jesus (who strangely resembled the old woman) along behind me. "Friday will do!" I was muttering.

So when I arrived, I asked her to choose a day to go shopping. I realized that if I serve Christ through serving others, I should submit to the ones I serve.

Do servants serve only on their terms and conditions? Of course not! Being willing to serve only when it suits us is not much of a service to those we would serve. Of course, we all have commitments that prevent us from being available at all times. But when we are meeting others' needs, God calls us to deal gently and respectfully with them; to do less cheapens our service.

Prayer: Dear Lord, give us opportunities to serve you and to follow your leading. Help us to be unselfish in our service to others. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

Do I serve others gently and respectfully?

PRAYER FOCUS:

Those who need my help

By Marianne Halligan (Western Australia, Australia)