December 26, 2015

Dressed to Serve

Luke 12:35-38

“He will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.”

—  Luke 12:37

In some parts of the world the day after Christmas is a holiday. The custom goes back to a time when servants, who had to work on Christmas day, were given a day to visit their families. In some accounts the day might include a role reversal in which the wealthy put on a banquet and acted as servants to their servants.

If it is hard to imagine an aristocrat keeping the water goblets full while his servants feasted, it is even harder to imagine the scene Jesus describes in this parable. A master comes home late from a wedding banquet. Instead of just slumping off to bed or ordering his servants to fix him a late night snack, this master changes into work clothes and waits on his ­servants.

If that doesn’t sound strange to us, it might be because we recognize Jesus in this master. When Jesus was born, he dressed himself to serve, so to speak. Jesus demonstrated this again when he wrapped himself with a towel and washed his disciples’ feet (see John 13). And when his disciples wondered who was greatest, Jesus emphasized that he came to be among us as one who serves (Luke 22:27).

Jesus indicates that we honor him best when we dress down and serve others—and not just on the day after Christmas.

Humble Savior, we are used to getting our way, and we love to be served. Humble us, that we may look to the interests of others, not just our own, and so honor you. Amen.

About the author — Norman Visser

Norman Visser has served as a pastor of churches in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and South Dakota. He states that while he is “not known for waiting patiently,” he is “working on it.” Norman and his wife, Marcia, have three children.

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