24-26 Within minutes they were bickering over who of them would end up the greatest. But Jesus intervened: “Kings like to throw their weight around and people in authority like to give themselves fancy titles. It’s not going to be that way with you. Let the senior among you become like the junior; let the leader act the part of the servant.
27-29 “Who would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner? You’d rather eat and be served, right? But I’ve taken my place among you as the one who serves.Luke 22:24-29 The Message
My wife and I have three children, the two youngest being four-year-old twins. My wife is a full-time mom and her gifts include love, service, and enjoyment of caring for the emotional and physical needs of small children. While she is often exhausted from taking the lead on caring for our children as well as others frequently in her care, she finds these activities fulfilling and enriching in her life even though the work she does (cleaning up their messes, changing their clothes, cooking their food, dealing with their tantrums, etc.) would frequently be characterized by many as “mundane” or “tedious.”
“Would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner?” Parents, as well as anyone entrusted with the physical care and needs of others, can often feel this concept acutely. They may often feel like they are waiters at a restaurant, at the mercy of the whims and manners of the guests they are serving.
“You’d rather eat and be served, right?” Absolutely! What a relief it is to have someone prepare your food, serve it to you hot, clean up afterwards, and do the dishes. That’s a solid hour or two of manual labor work that many of us go through on a daily basis.
“But I’ve taken my place among you as the one who serves.” While it is exhausting to “wait hand and foot” on children, family members, or others in our care, it’s a powerful way to feel the love that God has for us and to convey God’s love to others in turn.