The greatest among you will be your servant. (Matthew 23:11)
In the Pixar animation Ratatouille, the climax occurs when the notorious food critic, Anton Ego, takes a bite of ratatouille prepared by Remy, the rat chef. Instantly he is transported back in time to his kitchen table, where as a boy his mother served him the same French dish. The culinary experience evokes a flood of warm emotions that melt the critic’s icy heart. At last he writes a raving review of the restaurant and the rat chef who prepared the meal.
In a world of ATM’s, self-pumped gasoline, and grocery store self-checkouts, really good service is hard to find. But when you receive it, you don’t forget.
Not long ago my wife and I were given a gift certificate to a local Basque restaurant (yes, an actual certificate, not a card). We were told that we had to make reservations. Early in the afternoon I placed the call. “Is this your first time at our restaurant?” she said. I replied that it was. “We’re so glad! We can’t wait to meet you!” She spoke these words with such genuine enthusiasm that I looked forward to dinner for the rest of the day. When we arrived and were seated, the woman I spoke with earlier came to our table and began talking to us as though we had known her for years. She introduced us to her sister and treated us like family. The food was delicious and the service remarkable. We understood why the restaurant was so popular.
While the disciples of Christ were arguing about which one was top dog, Jesus quietly took a basin of water and a towel and began to wash their feet. In that culture the lowest servant of the house had the unenviable position of washing the dirty feet of the visitors who walked the dusty roads in sandals. When Jesus came to wash Peter’s feet, he naturally objected. But Jesus told him, “Unless I wash you, you have no part of me.” When He was finished He said to them all:
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:14-17)
When we truly love others, we delight in serving them, giving them our best. We are blessed in giving, and they are blessed in receiving. What a contrast this is from the self-serving attitude that strives for position, possessions or power! Service is a love language that everyone understands. It is what our Lord gave to us when He came to wash us from our sins. It is what we can give to one another in a thousand simple ways.
How can I improve my serve?
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