Sunday, April 13, 2008

Serving Jesus

"The blind and the lame came to Him at the temple, and He healed them." Matthew 21:14

I read that verse this morning, picturing Jesus sitting on the temple steps overlooking Jerusalem, healing all who came to Him. Off to the side were the teachers of the law, grumbling in jealousy and anger. That very morning Jesus had driven the money changers from the temple courts, full of righteous zeal for God's house. But Jesus wasn't focused on them. He was touching the crippled man in front of Him, making him whole...

...Then I looked around me. I was sitting in my living room on a rumpled blue couch cover, yawning and drinking coffee--Joy's backpack lying on the floor ("Oh yeah, I need to sign that permission slip"), Belle's puzzle spread out on the coffee table, Anne's baby shoes sitting on a chair, water boiling for oatmeal...the scene seemed so far removed from the one above. I sighed and turned back to the verses in front of me. Then this caught my eye:

"...And He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where He spent the night..." (vs. 17)

Then I could picture Jesus--so very tired--walking the road to Bethany in the cool of the evening. He must have been glad it wasn't far. He was going to Mary, Martha, and Lazarus' house. When He arrived, I'm sure Mary opened the door for Him, washed His feet, fed Him a good dinner. I wonder if He even had His own room and bed at their house. Probably. It was a place where He was at home--where He was fed, loved, cared for.

Now that scene wasn't so far removed from my own! Feeding, washing, caring, loving--isn't that what I do every day?

"But Lord, it must have been so different for Mary and Martha. It must have been "ministry"--holier somehow--when they were serving You."

But it wasn't. Mary and Martha were homemakers just like me. They had to plan dinner and mop floors and wash dishes. There was nothing "holy" about warming water to wash Jesus' feet, or reheating His cold dinner.

Or maybe there was. Maybe there is something holy about these seemingly small tasks that I do everyday too--the scratched knees I kiss, the diapers I change, the dinners I cook.

"...whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave--just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:26-28

God in the small things. A holy God incarnate. God with us. Immanuel.

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