Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Me, me first!

33 They came to Capernaum. When he was safe at home, he asked them, “What were you discussing on the road?” 34 The silence was deafening—they had been arguing with one another over who among them was greatest. 35 He sat down and summoned the Twelve. “So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.” 
(Mark 9:33-35 MSG)
Sometimes silence 'says' it all! There is nothing more 'convicting' than to be called out for one's behavior, is there? When it is done in a kind fashion, out of love and with grace, we can embrace it pretty well, right? To be 'called out' because we are too self-absorbed to see the needs around us is kind of hard at times, but we all have a tendency to drift into the 'what about me' kind of moments and need a little nudge to get back to the 'its not all about me' mode!
Over the past week we have been considering prayer - the life of communication and maintained connection. Service to others stems from times of just being in God's presence, sensing his heart, and then acting upon what it is we sense. The closer we get to him in our times of connected communion, the more we see others and the less we will see ourselves! How does that work? God has a way of turning us 'outward' when all we want to do is turn 'inward'. It is a process of transformation that really is accomplished in small exchanges of his grace.
Servants are 'grace-filled' individuals. They have a way of sensing or noticing the needs of others and are inwardly driven to meet that need. Do you know what Jesus used as an illustration to his disciples when he said these words? He brought a small child into the center of the room and simply embraced him. There is something within service that embraces another - it is one wrapping their arms around another, surrounding them in all the grace-filled way that individual needs.
Grace embraces. Pride pushes away. Grace engages. Pride pits one against the other. Grace entreats. Pride portrays impatience. We cannot embrace with full arms. We cannot engage unless we really look and listen. We cannot entreat if our lips or attitude convey we have no time or interest. It is as we commune with God throughout the day that our pride begins to receive little pin pricks of conviction. It is there we can lay down those things that push others away and open ourselves up to giving those grace embraces just like we have repeatedly been receiving from Jesus all day long! Just sayin!

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