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Tuesday, Feb. 16

We can serve 

In the 10th chapter of Mark we read, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served; but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Jesus chose remote Nazareth over the bustling city of Jerusalem. He chose his dad’s carpentry shop over a marble-columned palace. He chose three years of anonymity over a life of popularity. He selected prayer over sleep; the wilder-ness over the seaside of Jordan. He chose common men and fishermen over guardian angels. He chose Peter, Andrew, John and Matthew — and when they feared the storm, He stilled it!

When there was no more wine at the wedding feast or no food for the multitudes, He made both. He came to serve!

He let a woman in Samaria interrupt His rest. He let a wom-an in adultery interrupt His sermon. He let a woman with a disease interrupt his plans, and a woman with remorse in-terrupt His meal.

Though none of the apostles washed His feet, he washed theirs. Though none of the soldiers at His cross begged for mercy, He extended it. And when His disciples ran like scared rabbits on Maundy Thursday, He came searching for them on Easter Sunday. He came to serve!

The resurrected King ascended into heaven only after He’d spent 40 days with his friends — teaching them, encourag-ing them, serving them. He set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave. He became human. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless obedient life, and then He died a selfless, obedient death — the worst kind of death. He chose crucifixion on a wooden cross, high on a hill for all to see.

God is always with us. We are never alone. He knows hurt. He knows hunger. He knows exhaustion. He knows betrayal, and most of all, he knows sin — not His own, He knows ours! He knows every lie we’ve ever told, every person we’ve ever hurt, every dollar we’ve ever taken, every prom-ise we’ve ever broken, every virtue we’ve abandoned, every opportunity we’ve squandered.

Moses had a staff. David had a sling. Samson had a jawbone. Mary had some ointment. Aaron had a rod. Dorcas had a needle. All of these were used by God to serve him. God does great things with small deeds.

Against a towering giant, a pebble from a brook seemed futile. But God used it to topple Goliath! Compared to the tithes of the wealthy, the widow’s coins seem puny. But Jesus used all these things to serve Him and to inspire us.

To the sophisticated priests and powerful Roman rulers, a cross-suspended carpenter seemed nothing but a waste of life. Few Jewish leaders mourned His death, and only a handful of friends buried His body.

But in the end, through timeless centuries, God remains steadfast, our rock and shield, our strength, our guide, our Savior!

We, too, can be like Jesus. We can serve.

Dear God, as we too walk the dusty pathway that you chose to walk, may we walk with you in this ever-changing world as we face the many obstacles in our lives. Give us faith and courage to meet these obstacles, knowing your hand is lead-ing us, and your love is supporting us. Continue to walk with us and show us the way. In your holy name we pray. Amen. 

Pat Epting 

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