Thankful: God came to serve

Whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life–a ransom for many.

– Mark 10:44

Today, I am thankful that God did not send His Son into the world to be served, but to serve.

Jesus showed us what it means to serve, to freely display love through action. The night before He would carry the cross through Jerusalem’s streets, Jesus took on the form of a slave to preview the extent He was willing to go to redeem mankind.

Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into His hands, that He had come from God, and that He was going back to God. So He got up from supper, laid aside His robe, took a towel and tied it around Himself. Next, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around Him.

– John 13:3-5

Jesus humbled Himself to show His disciples, and us, that love means serving. It requires us to set aside our wants and desires to meet the needs of others. God knew our desperate state. He understood that our lives needed to be cleaned, and we could only be made right with God by His Son making the way through sacrifice. Jesus did not come to demand our worship and praise, though that is what He deserved as the Lord of Lords. He came to serve and give His life as a ransom, to purchase our freedom from sin.

So even with all the power and rightful authority He possessed, Jesus wrapped a towel around His waist and began, one by one, to wash His disciple’s feet during their last Passover together. With the cross before Him, Jesus spent some of His last treasured moments with His friends knelt down before them, removing their sandals and wiping off the dirt.

God’s example to us in the Upper Room is also our challenge.

You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you.

– John 13:14-15

Nana’s Love

As Google Video is finally closing the window of opportunity to provide playback to videos stored on its system, I transferred most of mine to YouTube today. The videos began back when Jackson, my four-year-old, was born, and special milestones in his life, as well as other events for our family.

It was a wonderful trip down memory lane, and there was much I had forgotten already! Jackson set next to me as I showed videos of him as a baby, which he got a real kick out of. As he giggled, the video which had started this whole process caught my eye. When it was finished uploading, I clicked play.

On this Mother’s Day, I was blessed to have my mom and dad here, swinging through to join us for church on their journey back home. It was great to have them here!

Today my other mother, Sharon, also was on my mind, and has been even more so since we’ve moved back to Missouri.

My husband’s mom Sharon was such an amazing, gentle, kind person who I loved dearly. It’s been three years since she went home to be with Jesus, and there are so many moments where both Matt and I at the same time wonder out loud how we wish she could be here to see this (as her grandchildren play) or we wish we could ask her about this…

In particular, now that I am staying home again, there are many moments throughout my day where it would be so wonderful to pick up the phone and talk with her. When Jackson was a baby, she was always there to talk, to ask questions of, to share in the excitement of his “firsts”. She was the person I called when I realized Jackson had his first tooth, because I knew her joy would nearly parallel mine. She was there when he first crawled and when he said his first word: “Mama”.

Today, I have been reflecting on how she lived such a life in service to her Savior, and how that spilled out on all those around her. She had more patience than anyone I have ever known, and exercised such loving kindness with her family, her friends, her church and so many others fortunate enough to cross her path. Her passion for Jesus impacted so many, and continues to do so to this day. We are still receiving gifts from her that she bought years ago in anticipation of Jackson’s growth!

On Mother’s Day, I pray that I will be the kind of mom she was and model the same kind of humbleness and servanthood she did as she loved Jesus, her family, her church and the world her Savior came to save.

Below is the video I had made for her memorial service.  Jackson watched with me this afternoon, and was very excited to see himself and Daddy and Mommy and Granddad and Aunt Heather and Aunt Erin. But, most of all, he recognized his Nana, and pointed her out again and again. At one point, he looked at me and asked, “Mommy, Nana loved me, didn’t she?”

Oh, yes, Jackson. Nana loved you with all her heart!

And, just as I know she did, I am praying for the day Jackson chooses to follow Jesus, and then, one day, see his Nana again.