I’ve been thinking about titles, you know how we all want to be somebody important. It started when we were kids, dressing up like superman, or pretending to be so and so. There is in most of us the desire to be recognized. Our ancestors came to America from Europe where Kings and Queens ruled the land. Looking for freedom, they fled the monarchs leaving royalty behind. Well, not completely. We still like the alphabet soups in front of our name-CEO, CFO, MD, and DR.
An example I often see is in Africa. It seems they cannot escape their ancestors any more than we can. Africa is tribal and tribes must have a chief or a king. One of the biggest “tribes” in Africa today is the African church. Each church has its chief who often acts like a king. He is the pastor. Yes, the pastor! He models his ministry more from his ancestors than he does from the Christ whom he serves. So many pastors I know both here and there want to “be somebody”. The bigger the church the bigger the desire to be a chief-a big shot. In Kiswahili, my African friends say, “bwana mkubwa” which means a big boss.
I digress, I was thinking with you about your “title” as a Christ-follower. When we walk with Christ, side by side with him, it is difficult to want to be somebody! Why? Because he is the somebody, the hero, we all should want to be. What kind of a somebody is He? Just in case we don’t get it, Jesus gave us an object lesson in titles. The story is recorded in John’s Gospel chapter 13. Jesus is facing his imminent death, so he needs to give his men a strong life lesson in “titles”. He unashamedly strips down to his underwear, and as a humble servant he washes the feet of his followers. When finished, he says, ” Fellas, from this point forward, your title will be servant. I want you to do to others as I have done to you.”
So, today your title is servant. The measure of our follow-ship, is how many men we serve, not how many men serve us. The way up is down. The greatest among us is the least of these. This is the Kingdom paradigm. God my Father evaluates me by the strength of my servant spirit. My challenge and yours is to put on your work clothes, and go wash someone’s feet this day.