Anyone who reads the New Testament seriously is almost always surpised to learn how often Christ saw life differently than we do. One example of that is to be found in Christ's teaching regarding greatness. In the ways of the world, greatness is defined by how many serve you; in the life of Christ, however, the opposite is true. He measured greatness and success by the number He served, and reminded us that in the Kingdom of God, it was upon the servant, and not the ruler, that greatness was conferred.
Christ sought to teach this great truth not only through teaching, but through his living example as well. He did not only content himself with serving others, but took upon Himself the very nature of the servant. Serving was not something that Christ did, it was something He was.
We need to ask ourselves if we have followed that example. Are we willing to serve unconditionally? When we do something for others,do we do without the expectation that the recipient of our deed is obligated to respond with great appreciation and gratitude? Are we like the good Samaritan who not only helped his enemy, but did so without expectations?
It is not only what we do that is important, but also how we choose to serve that matters. Christ oftentimes performed great miracles of healing and only asked of those who were healed that they not tell others of his mercy and compassion. Are we willing to serve in a role that gets little or no recognition? Do we serve others in complete anonymity? Do we accept jobs that are far from the limelight and glory? There are many tasks in the church that need to be done by servants. They include singing in the choir, teaching Church School, visiting the sick, and countless others. If we do not choose to accept these tasks because we are unwilling to make sacrifices without getting credit and receiving public praise, then we are not like Christ, and do not have a servant's heart.
We need to remember that it is the will of God for each of us to have such a compassionate and loving heart; and let us also remember that in God's Kingdom there can be no greatness without service here on earth.
— Rev. Andrew Demotses
Fr. Andrew Demotses is Pastor Emeritus of St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church in Peabody, MA. Fr. Andrew's sermons and meditations have been regularly featured by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for decades.