We had a guest speaker in service yesterday; Jeremy Kingsley. He challenged us to think about the true identity of "greatness" and who we allow to define it. What the world tells us is "great" (i.e. money, cars, fame, looks) is the complete opposite of what Jesus Christ has shown us that which is "great". We can look at his entire life and see the unexpected contra our expectation. We think that a savior, a king, a messiah should be the one who comes down to earth with a great precession; born in the Hilton's presidential suite with 85 doctors taking care of all the needs of each individual involved. The local symphony and choir playing on the side as Mary gives birth to the coming King but the reality is that Jesus was born in a "Jiffy Lube bathroom". There was used toilet paper on the floor, urine on the seat, bacteria piles on the corners...this was the locale of the magnificent birth of Christ. Born in a manger or a troff where animals eat and use the restroom at the same time. How in the world is Jesus, our savior, born in a troff Christ-like?
Maybe we are going to see "greatness" in who Jesus hangs out with. The upper class participants, politicians, doctors. Jesus hung out with the poor, lepers, prostitutes, children, the marginalized, the unwanted. Why?
ok ok...maybe His ultimate take-over will occur when He enters Jerusalem. Here we will see the "greatness" revealed in our King. Instead, He decides to ride in on a small, dirty and used donkey.
What is "greatness"? Is it what the world is trying to promote or is it in the love and humility shown in Christ? If it is in Christ, He came not to be served but to serve others. In our individuality and uniqueness we are created to be ourselves and to serve others. This is greatness. It is loving Christ so much that we are infused with His love and are able to serve in the depth demonstrated throughout Scripture. How uncommon it is in Western culture to see a book on "How To Serve", "How to be Humble", "How to Sacrifice".
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all".
Know that greatness happens when it is while you and God are working together. There may be no one there to give a standing ovation when "greatness" takes place. There might not be a victory box to stand on when "greatness" transpires. There is only intimacy between you and Jesus...it is the personal work of the Holy Spirit within that breaks hearts for those who are in need and we decide to get low to the ground and truly serve. This is not service as a means to gain. This is servant-hood. It is the secret acts of kindness that demonstrate the "greatness" shown to us by Jesus Christ. It is within the quiet atmosphere that we are challenged.
Jesus, help us to be more like you. Help us to listen to you define greatness for your people.