With Thanksgiving only a few days away, many of us are making preparations for grand dinners and company soon to arrive, hungry, thirsty and ready for fellowship with loved ones. This is also the time of the year when we think about giving to others and volunteerism is at an all time high during the holiday season. However, once we've licked the meat off the last drumstick or opened the last present, thoughts of helping others drift from our minds until next year.
In the 10th book of Mark we find the disciples debating and petitioning Jesus for special seating that would designate their importance in the hierachy of things. They wanted to be elevated to high positions amongst each other without fully realizing just what they were asking and without knowing what the price of such a lofty request would require. Things haven't changed; we find ourselves today desiring places of high stature in society; fame, fortune and power; we see others possessing these things and we desire to have them too without realizing that it came with a great price of sacrifice which for many of us is too high to pay. Jesus had to give the disciples a reality check as he told them that,“Those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you” (Mark 10:42-43). He had to make it clear to them that they were there to learn to be servants: “Whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all” (v.44). Jesus himself had come to serve, not to be served.
There is no greater example of leadership than Jesus Christ; through his service to man, he taught us the true meaning of leadership; as He was willing to lay down his life for the sins of the whole world. As we shop for that last ingredient to that old family recipe or bake that last pumpkin pie, let us remember that the greatest gift we could ever give is our service. Thanksgiving and Christmas come around only once a year but there are people who need our help every day and social issues and concerns that need our attention beyond the holiday season. If we want to one day lead we must first be willing to serve.
I pray that you all have a blessed Thanksgiving and I am challenging myself first to find a place to serve others without fanfare, without recognition for my service and to do it with a heart of compassion, love and humilty. Won't you join me?
God bless you!