Illustration results for servanthood
When I was preparing this sermon I had just seen again the film ’Gandhi’ and was moved by the account of that great Indian leader - how he overcame injustice and oppression, not by force, but by non-violent resistance. He said to his followers, ’so long as we’re peaceful, the initiative is ours, we are in control’. But oh, what suffering he and his followers endured before freedom was finally won. This is a picture of the kingdom that Jesus proclaimed. It would come through suffering and servanthood - values that the wisdom of this world scorns - but the kingdom of God finally will come in power. The book of the Revelation leaves no doubt about that.
You turn on the TV set to see a large family sitting at a long dining room table. A man and a woman sit at opposite ends of the table, with three boys on one side and three girls on the other. Then another woman appears from the kitchen wearing a blue blouse and a white apron. She’s also wearing a huge smile and carrying a large casserole dish. Who’s the servant? It’s Alice from The Brady Bunch.
You switch channels and see a family in the living room of their Bel Air mansion. A teenage girl has just brought in the haul from her shopping day at the Beverly Hills boutiques. A younger sister clamors to see what she bought. A large middle-aged man seems to be rebuking a tall, slender, younger man, while a woman stands behind nodding her approval. In walks a short man with a black tuxedo with tails, a white shirt with a black bow tie and white gloves. He makes a smart remark before being sent to another room by the increasingly grousy middle-aged man. Who’s the servant? It’s Jeffrey from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
A few more channels away you see a creepy lot of characters. The living area has the finest antique furniture but is strewn with cobwebs. Candles flicker throughout the room. A hyperactive black-haired man kisses up and down his rather gothic looking wife’s arm on the sofa while the kids play with a tarantula on the floor by the fireplace. Even stranger sights are yet to appear. In comes a bald man so pale he looks almost blue. He’s dressed like a monk and has a light bulb in his mouth. Next in comes a 4 foot ball of hair on legs waving its arms and wearing a hat and glasses, followed by a single hand scurrying across the floor. Then the amorous man takes a break from the arm of his wife long enough to pull a large rope dangling from space and in walks a monstrous living corpse of a man, who bellows in a deep monotone, "You rang?" Who’s the servant? It’s Lurch from the Addams Family.
TV has had its share of servants. Alice, Jeffrey, and Lurch are distinguishable from the families they serve because they are always serving. You might recall, even the occasional glimpses into Alice’s love life were centered around her dutiful runs to the meat market, where she was wooed by Sam the Butcher. You see, a servant is always identified by their activity.
SERVANTHOOD: THE SOLOIST
There was an interesting movie recently. It bombed at the box office, but it was a very interesting film. "The Soloist" was a true story about a Los Angeles Times columnist named Steve Lopez who discovered a homeless person on the street who, in turn, was a Julliard School of Music dropout. At one point in the film, the homeless person (exhibiting evidence of the schizophrenia he denied) shouted that Steve Lopez was his god. And Lopez, believing that he was turning that stated devotion into a good thing, commanded the man to do something that he thought would benefit the man. As a result, Lopez went through a personal crisis when he was rejected by the homeless man, frustrated because he had tried to provide good things to the fellow, but experienced only hostile ingratitude and even assault at the hands of his intended beneficiary.
The truth remains, no matter how beneficent our intentions, we be God for anyone else, we can only point people to God, the ONLY authentic and valid choice. A lot of people don’t like the idea that God would "command" people to love Him. They would perceive this as weakness in God, some human type of insecurity and neediness. As with all of the commandments, thou...