You got served
Back in 2016, when the borders were open and overseas travel was a normal way of life, my wife and I went to Samoa and American Samoa to spend Christmas with my wife's family. We set off for American Samoa for a week which was great and were able to spend time on the island with our aiga - taking in the sights, living the simple island life and also sitting on the back of pick up trucks which populate an island that can barely contain two trucks on the road at the same time. It was also cool to walk into a shop and see ESPN on the TV as opposed to rugby!
After our week in American Samoa, we headed back to Upolu, via the skinny pencil neck plane which is so small you could reach directly into the cockpit from the front row and steer the plane if you wanted. We were picked up from the domestic airport and taken our place of residence - Piuala Methodist Theological College - for a few days.
My wife's uncle and aunty were, at the time teachers for upcoming students at the college. My uncle-in-law, Rev. Dr. Saunoa Sila is a leading Pacific Theologian who has does some great work in the history of Piula and Methodist History in Samoa. We were fortunate to be able to stay at their place on the campus for a few days.
One thing struck me about my time at Piula, beyond the beauty of nature and wairua that was present the whole time. Whenever we had meals as a family, we would be served by training students of the college. These students, were all older than me and would always sit on the floor beside us when we ate, making sure our plates and cups were full and ensuring our hands were clean when finished. I was told that this is always done by first year students, as a way to remind them of the important aspect of ministry and Christian life in general - that we are called to serve. Up to the point of being told why this was done, I was very uncomfortable - imagine sitting at a table eating with someone sitting on the floor beside you and then being served by someone old enough to be your parent or grandparent! But once it was explained to me, it made perfect sense and what I saw as uncomfortable became a beautiful, powerful gesture that I will never forget.
Do we lose sight sometimes of the reality that our Christian journey is based on serving others? What good is our faith in God if we do not serve? We know serving others is important because simply put, scripture says -
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Matthew 20:28 (NLT)
If it's good enough for Christ, it's good enough for me. Sometimes in the midst of being loved by God, we forget that we are called to serve in response. As we head into the Holy Week, where the culmination of Gods love would take center stage, beginning in Palm Covered streets and ending at Calvary, let us show how we follow Christ, in the way we serve him. Ultimately, our ability to be here to read these words is made possible through a God who, in goodness and mercy, came into our world and didn't want to sit at, but rather serve those at the table. In the Kingdom, servants are honored. Servants follow. Let that be our prayer - as we embark on another Holy Week toward the Cross.
Some Questions to Consider:
- How well do you serve others?
- Who are the models in your life that you look to as examples of what it means to serve God and others?
- Who might need prayer in relation to todays Blog?