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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Advent 12: Waiting to be served

Jesus defied all expectations of the Messiah - God's chosen one. Israel was waiting, longing, for someone to come and free them from the oppression of Roman rule; they were hoping for a powerful King, an unbeatable military ruler, who would come and conquer and make everything right. But our God - who loves to turn the world upside down - flipped the notion of what it means to lead completely on its head: his chosen leader would come in such a humble way that people would fail to recognise him. His chosen leader would come as a servant.

"The son of man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)

In the middle of an argument between two of his disciples - James and John - about which one of them is better, which one of them deserves the best place in his kingdom - Jesus tells them that they are entirely missing the point: if you want to be a leader then you need to be a servant. Jesus came to serve us. His is a ministry of feet washing, of doing what no one else will do, of sitting amongst the broken and the outcast and being treated as one of them. Jesus' servant heart led his to the cross. His love for those who rejected him was so great that he would serve them - even as they scorned and mocked him - by dying for them. Jesus is the servant king.

Reflection: Jesus calls those who follow him to be like him. Who can we serve today? Think of someone who needs to know that Jesus loves them and do something practical to demonstrate that love today.

The Servant King

From heaven you came helpless babe
Entered our world, your glory veiled
Not to be served but to serve
And give Your life that we might live

This is our God, The Servant King
He calls us now to follow Him
To bring our lives as a daily offering
Of worship to The Servant King

There in the garden of tears
My heavy load he chose to bear
His heart with sorrow was torn
'Yet not My will but Yours,' He said

Come see His hands and His feet
The scars that speak of sacrifice
Hands that flung stars into space
To cruel nails surrendered

So let us learn how to serve
And in our lives enthrone Him
Each other's needs to prefer
For it is Christ we're serving

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