Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Are We Really Called to be 'Servants'?

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what the master is doing. I call you friends for all that I have heard from my Father, I have made known to you.” 
John 15:15

In his book, The Careless Society, John Mcknight describes what he sees as a truly "upside down" message from Christ at the Last Supper. In this story, Christ challenges the disciples to see themselves not merely as givers or receivers of charity but as friends. This story hints at the idea that perhaps the desire for power and lordship can exist even in our “acts of service.” This story continually challenges my deepest understandings of how to serve, receive and ultimately how to see myself and my neighbor.

Christ’s mandate to be friends is a revolutionary idea in our serving society. Here we are, a nation of professionalized servers, following Christ’s mandate to serve. And here He is, at the final moment, getting it backwards once again. The final message is not to serve. Rather he directs us to be friends. Why friends rather than servants? Perhaps it is because He knew that servants could always become lords but that friends could not. Servants are people who know the mysteries that can control those to whom they give ‘help.’ Friends are people who know each other. They are free to give and receive.” - John McKnight

- Austin Sauerbrei, CSM Nashville Associate City Director

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