|“…they [the first converts in |
Achaia] have addicted
themselves to the ministry of the saints.”
|—1 Corinthians 16:15 KJV|
“They refreshed my spirit and yours
also. Such men deserve recognition.”
|—1 Corinthians 16:18 NIV|
How many of us spend years in the mundane? We tell ourselves we were made for greater things. We have professional training, or notable achievements and experiences. We have traveled widely and known famous people.
It seems that God, in His wisdom, prepares all of us for greatness by making us servants to others. And much of that work entails baking cookies, or changing diapers, cleaning bathrooms, or encouraging sick acquaintances.
I am encouraged by what Jesus did. We read about the night of the Last Supper with His disciples in John 13:3-5:
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Jesus used this occasion as an opportunity to teach His followers. In the same chapter of John, 13:14-16, He said:
“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. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.”
Jesus, in another place, (Mark 9:41) talks about giving a drink of cold water to someone in His name as an act of love.
In his little book, The Practice of the Presence of God, a record of conversations and letters by Brother Lawrence, we read of this “lay brother” who worshipped as much in the kitchen as in the cathedral.
Brother Lawrence said:
Lord of all pots and pans and things…
Make me a saint by getting meals
And washing up the plates!
And he could say:
The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament. 1
So, whether God calls us to bring up grandchildren as our own, or nurse a family member, or serve communion bread to our congregation, we need to hear Him say to us, as He did to the believers in Hebrews 6:10:
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
Wear the apron cheerfully, knowing you represent Him to others!
|1 Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God. Old Tappan, NJ: Spire Books, 1973. p.8.|