Altar Call –
Serving others – the
key to a great life
Two words reveal the secret to a great
life: serving others. So let’s examine those two words.
The word “serving” reminds us that
followers of Jesus are called to serve. To do so is to follow the example of
Jesus who humbly washed the feet of his disciples. We have a choice. We can
strive to have people serve us or we can find ways to serve. One choice leads
to misery, the other to peace.
The word “others” reminds us of the
Salvation Army, founded by William Booth. Booth’s wife Catherine served the
poor and homeless alongside her husband. She taught their children to serve.
Every night when she put them to bed, the last word she uttered in the ear of
each one was the word “others.” This was the ultimate purpose of the Salvation
Army: to serve the people Jesus described as “the least of these.”
Many of us begin a new year by making
resolutions which sadly are soon broken. A wiser plan might be to begin the new
year by looking for ways to “wash feet.” When Jesus washed the dirty feet of
his disciples, he explained to them that he did so as an example of how he
expected them to live.
On another occasion Jesus explained to
his disciples that he had not come into the word “to be served, but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom” for others. These words, found in Mark 10:45,
have been called “the most revolutionary verse in the Bible.”
Why is this a revolutionary idea?
Perhaps it springs from the fact that many of us are “control freaks.” We want
to rule, to have others serve us. Humble servanthood is not our game. And for
many of us, life is all about me, what I want and what pleases me. Selfishness
rules out any thought of “others.”
But we have no choice is we are to live
as authentic followers of Jesus. To follow him we must serve others. We wash
feet; it is not optional. Think about how Albert Schweitzer and Mother Teresa
are universally admired. Both of them washed feet. They served others. They
There are many ways to “wash feet.” Jim
does it by weekly grocery shopping for a homebound neighbor. Ron does it by
being available 24/7 to a friend who is a recovering addict. Coralie does it by
cooking meals for “the least of these” in a poor neighborhood of her community.
John does it by cutting the lawn for a neighbor who is recovering from surgery.
If we look around us we can find simple ways to wash feet, thus sharing the
love of Jesus in deeds, not words.
It may well be that the best way to
recommend Jesus is to serve others. And serving others is surely the secret to
a life well lived. + + +