Whoever wishes to be first among you must be last of all (a slave); just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:25-28, Mark, 9:35, Mark 10:43 – 44; Luke 22:26.
The frenzy of Christmas gift-buying and gift-making, charity-giving, and family and friend gathering, with houses to clean and decorate and foods aplenty to cook and dishes to wash over and over again, and cards and calls to send forces us to pry-open the spigots of our hearts from which we can pour out service to others in a steady flow. It is unlike any other time of year because of the intensity and universality of it all.
Although the event is explained as the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the truth of the matter is that the Christmas frenzy is much more than that. In the last Mark, No. 60, we read that we can divest ourselves of riches to emulate Jesus who divested Himself of the power and glory of the Godhead to become an infant babe. Now we add that He did this to serve humankind, and He asks us to emulate Him in this way too.
When we succumb to the slavery of Christmas merry-making we receive a glimpse of the kind of relentless servitude, Jesus Christ endured during His earthly mission up to the ultimate sacrificial end.
The God of Reality is realistic enough to know that mere mortals can hardly sustain this level of service which is why in this Mark He adds the hierarchy-factor. The more we try to reach Christ’s level of service to humankind, the higher we rank.
When Christmastime comes again, with its surge of giving of ourselves, once again we will clearly see the Mark of Christ-like service and vow to aim higher in the New Year, as many of us are doing today.
Happiness is a New Year of service to others with a constantly open faucet of a happy slave’s humble heart.