Yesterday, I preached about humility and service, looking at the ultimate example of Jesus in John 13. As we reflected on the Last Supper scene and Jesus washing the feet of His disciples, I posed three principles to my congregation. To follow Jesus' example in serving [v. 15], we must:
1. Choose our bowl: Pilate dipped his hands in the bowl later and washed his hands of all responsibility [Matthew 27:24]. Jesus, on the other hand, dipped His hands into the servant's basin and blessed His disciples. It's a matter of basin theology. We were made for a mission; saved to serve. So, we must choose our bowl.
2. Follow our nose: The moment we decide to serve, serving opportunities will abound. All we have to do is open our eyes, follow our nose.
3. Reap the reward: There is a blessedness when we serve others [v. 17; also see Acts 20:35]. We enjoy uplifting grace [1 Peter 5:6] and God gets the glory [Philippians 2:11].
So, I decided to grab a burger for lunch today and decided to put my own principles to the test. I left the church parking lot deciding that I would serve. I prayed very specifically and asked God for a rendezvous with my friend Charlie. I drove to the typical spots where I sometimes see him on the street, but he was nowhere around. I pulled in to the MacDonald's parking lot [no comments necessary regarding my dietary choices] only to find the drive-thru backed up. So, I chose to run in and grab lunch to go. I ordered, paid and had my hand on the door to exit when a voice from the rear of the restaurant called out, "David!"
I turned to see Charlie smiling ear to ear. "Where have you been?" he asked.
"Me?" I shot back, "Where have you been?" He laughed and gave me a great hug. The fact that he gladly moved toward me, remembered my name and welcomed a lunch partner made my day.
Tonight, Charlie rests warmly in Pearson's bed. We enjoyed listening to his military stories at the dinner table over homemade soup. He shared stories about playing bass in a rock band and reminisced about his sweet aunt, the English teacher. We watched "24" together and talked about all the incredible people at Pantego Bible Church who have shared with him during the last few months.
I love my friend. I love giving to him and receiving from him. I also love seeing the truth of Scripture come to life. God is faithful to give us opportunities to be faithful to Him. So, I'll keep sniffing, seeking, and serving. And, I'll boast only in the cross of Jesus where I see true service most humbly displayed.