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Monday, December 10, 2007

Vertigo is Coming to Town!

Christians should not be doormats.  Too often Christians get depicted as "pushovers" or "weak" but we are not to be doormats. Lots of professional athletes help dispel this image to  a degree, but what does it really mean to make oneself meek and humble?

So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. Mark 10:42-44 (emphasis mine)

I know for me servant and slave are not words that I readily identify with.  Like Chris I have always read this passage and thought that to become a leader or first I must be a servant and slowly work my way up in an organization or group.  I don't think this is completely incorrect, but Chris provided an alternate idea that really got me thinking.  In our society by being a servant and serving the needs of others we are being leaders of Christ's kingdom, spreading His love.

Chris explains it much better than I, but basically the way we think about leadership and power is focused on the world, but when Christ thinks about leadership and power it is on a very different plane (one that we would think of as low).

Christ came to invert the world or to use the language from the message: Vertigo.  Vertigo is when our surroundings seem to whirl dizzily! Christ's perspective can seem so different than ours that is whirls by us without ever truly understanding. 

Christ was known by His love.  What are you known by? This is the famous tombstone or epitaph question. Christ doesn't want us to be a doormat, but does want us to love others as He loved. He doesn't want us to feel the shame that comes with being lowly but the joy that comes through loving service.

Another main point of the message was that we are called to give everything.  Many of us rationalize that when we "make it" or make our first million we'll give a substantial amount to the church or missions.  That's not what Christ wants, if the widow had waited to give 5 mites instead of her 2, she might never have been able to do it.  We are asked to remember that God has blessed us and we should give back to Him and honor Him now. 

This point can also be hard, when your budget is tight and you are barely able to put food on the table, it makes sense that you should provide for your family's needs before the others.  Yet, the widow "put in everything—all she had to live on" (Mark 12:41-44)


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