I am sorry I missed last week. New baby = new pace and patterns. Trying to live into all my responsibilities with faithfulness, but last week I just dropped the ball. My apologies.
This week I want to do something a bit different. I want to reflect on one passage and tell you how I see this standing in conflict with the current tenor of conversations in the public square.
First of all, the setting for Luke 22. We have the story of Judas making a deal to betray Jesus, the prep and actual Passover Meal with Jesus and the disciples in the upper room. Coming off of Jesus telling them that one will betray him, the disciples get into a fight over who was the greatest. Luke 22: 22-25 says:
24 An argument broke out among the disciples over which one of them should be regarded as the greatest. 25 But Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles rule over their subjects, and those in authority over them are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But that’s not the way it will be with you. Instead, the greatest among you must become like a person of lower status and the leader like a servant. 27 So which one is greater, the one who is seated at the table or the one who serves at the table? Isn’t it the one who is seated at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
Jesus was in the process of surrendering his rights for the sake of God’s work and purpose in this world. He prays in this chapter, “not my will, but your will be done” (Luke 22:42)
Jesus laid down his rights. He did not come to use his power to lord over people and flaunt his power and authority, but he instead, he came to serve.
Our call is the same as the disciples:
Instead, the greatest among you must become like a person of lower status and the leader like a servant.
To be a truly great leader and a person in the Kingdom, means to lay aside the I deserve this or that or I have the right type of attitude. We must take into account that Jesus, laid down all that he had for the sake of God’s purpose being done and realized in his day and time and beyond.
I hear a lot of people that come from a place of, “my rights as Christian are being abused and stepped on”. And from there they make an argument for becoming mini-overlords of today’s culture. The more the culture pushes, the more I see self-proclaimed and I am assuming well-meaning Christians demanding their rights in statements filled with anger.
Most non-Christians I meet know Christians by not only what we are against. They know that Christians act in anger, rage, and judgment. This is not what Jesus asked us to do in this culture.
When we demand our rights, and we want to rule over others that are not like us, we are not going where Jesus asked us to go. And we are not going in the “way” he asked us to go.
1. I believe deeply in right and wrong and sin. I believe that God’s good news can transform people and the world needs that.
2. I am not promoting the “everyone is good and right, right where they are” attitude. What I am saying is that we as Christ followers must follow Christ. And following Christ is about laying down our rights and surrounding the way in which God needs us to live in this world.