Truckers on CB radios use a handle – a name they get to choose to identify themselves. Hikers on the Appalachian trail choose a trail name – this is the name other hikers know them by. Choosing our own name can show how we see ourselves or how we want others to perceive us. When I set up this blog – I chose the handle servanttom – let me tell you why.
In a world that promotes dominating – I follow Jesus who as fully God was all powerful and all knowing, yet for our salvation He became a servant. He served his Father and carried out His Father’s will – even to the point of laying down His own life. This is how my Master lived His life. I seek to serve Jesus with the same attitude. This handle is a reminder to me, not to think more highly of myself than I ought.
Early on in ministry, I was given a piece of wise advice – that was to look at the congregation and in my head say: “I am your servant, but you are not my Master.” My Master is Jesus – and he has led me here to serve you – to serve you with the sacraments, to serve you with the Word of God, to serve you by extending the Lord’s grace and comfort to you, to serve you in leadership, but never to lord over you – that is Jesus’ place.
“I am your servant, but you are not my Master.”
Yet, I am not alone in ministry. At Little Britain Presbyterian Church we declare that the congregation are the ministers. For all of us are serving the Lord in word and action everyday. We are the hands and feet and lips through whom Jesus is serving the world. In your family your are sent to serve, in your workplace you are sent as God’s servant, in your community you are a beacon for Jesus, wherever you are – God has a purpose in being there. How do you view your role in these various settings?
My identity as the Lord’s servant is helpful for me to remember each day, as I say: “not my will, but thine be done.”
My position as servant is good for me to remember, but it is not the only way I need to remember who I am. I also need to remind myself daily that I am a beloved child of God. I am loved so deeply and truly that God has set his affection on me and willingly sent His own son to die in my place, that I might be welcomed into His forever family. Sometimes seeing myself as one in whom God delights gets forgotten. This reality that God loves me more than I can imagine must seep into my heart. The cross of Jesus declares God’s redemption of me that must define my sense of self.
Who are you? How do you define who you are, your purpose and who you are in relationship with others? Does it primarily stem from your understanding of who God says you are? The song “Who am I?” by Casting Crowns ponders the wonder of God’s love for us, as they sing: “Who am I that the Lord of all the earth knows my name, would care to feel my hurt? Who am I that the Bright and Morning Star would choose to light the way for my ever wandering heart?” The chorus of the song declares: “Not because of who I am, but because of what You’ve done. Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who you are.”
I am a servant of God Most High, not because I deserve this position, but because the God of heaven and earth loves me and despite my sin, bought me and cleansed me with Jesus’ blood to make me His child. Who I am is defined not by the world, nor by myself, but by the Word of God.
How do you know who you are? What Biblical perspective do you need to embrace today?