Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Getting Small

We need humility to achieve greatness in God's eyes. To be bigger, we have to get smaller.

In his book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Robert Fulghum wrote, “Wisdom comes not from graduate school but in the nursery school sandbox. These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. When you go out into the world watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.”

Fulghum is not far from the teaching of Jesus that we must become like little children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 18:3)

Nowhere in the Bible do you see the Apostles asking each other, “How are you? Can I get you anything?

Instead, we see them pushing people away as when they were bringing children to Jesus or keeping those outside their group were ministering in Jesus' name. Now there is conflict about who among them is the greatest. (Mark 9:33-34)

For many the idea of greatness comes from position, prestige, and power. Like children who race and push each other to get a better position in line, the Apostles are arguing about how they should be lining up.

Jesus straightens out their thinking by saying, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.’” (Mark 9:35)

While they're trying to figure out what that means, Jesus scoops up a toddler and makes a connection between the one who receives this child in His name, and the one who receives Christ Himself and God His Father.

The greatest are those small enough to serve people forgotten by others. Those who befriend the person nobody likes. The ones who give to those who cannot give back.


Diana Curtis said...

I always look back at how my mom did things. She was always helping others even if we were poor. We lived right across the railroad tracks and we had people (we called hobos) who always seemed to come to our house to ask for food or drink. My mom would put on some coffee and would start making tacos. That was back when tacos was seen as a food for the poor. My mom made homemade tortillas and would give them nice hot food and coffee or cold water. Some would sit under a tree nearby and eat. I saw my mom treat people with kindness even strangers who she knew nothing about and whom she probably never see again. We were never afraid that they could break in and kill us. They never asked for money.... I learned so much by my mom's examples. To her, riches was not money, riches was loving God and doing for others. When my mom saw a need she did what she could.....never expecting anything in return.

mlbaxter55 said...

Diana, you and I were blessed with mothers who didn't need words to teach us; they who lived God's love out loud for all to see - not as a show, but rather as an outpouring of God's love. Remember David Millsaps, the man who no one wanted to sit by and eat with at Baptist Temple's Fellowship Supper? I remember Mom, as the church hostess, setting a small table with a white cloth for him so that he would feel special at the dinners. She would make sure he had all he needed, and more.
Thank God for our mothers and other fine Christian examples we had growing up at Baptist Temple.