The Servant’s Heart
To me, the servant’s heart comes from the Great Commandment in which Jesus declared “You are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. . .And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:37, 39) What it looks like to follow this commandment is found by looking at Jesus. Every aspect of Jesus’ life reflected his love of God and neighbor. In looking at Jesus one sees that a servant’s heart is a humble heart, a selfless heart, and a sacrificial heart. To have a servant’s heart like Jesus one must first have a heart for serving God, not out of obligation, but out of love. Through the Holy Spirit we are given gifts and through our love for God flows our love for others in which we desire to use our gifts not for our own gains but to build up our neighbors. It is also through the Holy Spirit that we are transformed into the image of Christ so that all of our thoughts, words, and actions reflect the love of God and neighbor.
One of the gifts the Holy Spirit has given me is the ability and understanding of what it means to be a mentor. In the industrial age, a manager was seen as a person who commanded their employees to perform or risk unemployment. The relationship was more in the form of master – slave and not as partners. In a mentoring role, a person is still a leader yet they lead by walking along side others guiding, directing, performing, and living in mutual relationship. Jesus, with his servant’s heart, is the ultimate example of a mentor. Jesus, though the Son of God, humbled himself to become fully human and be obedient to God all the way to death on a cross. Jesus as human walked alongside a fallen humanity, healing, teaching, proclaiming the word of God, and showing how to live in a loving relationship with God and neighbor. Jesus gave of himself and never asked anyone to do what he was unwilling to do. As a mentor who has a servant’s heart I have walked alongside the people of my congregations and communities. I am a fellow traveler who allows others to see me working out my salvation in fear and trembling. It is through my failures and successes that I can point others to God’s grace that is freely given to all.
I look forward to walking alongside all of you at First UMC and the people of Chenango Bridge as we know, grow, and go together.
Grace & Peace,