Readings for October 21, 2018
My wife and I have three daughters. They are wonderful, unique creations temporarily placed in our care by God to love. And I do. I love each of them more than all the rest of them. To say the middle one of the three is petite may overstate her size. She knits, likes soft blankets and sweaters, shops the sales at the smelly soap stores, smiles widely at fluffy kitten videos, and rarely passes an opportunity to buy, then hold tightly, a plush Pusheen. She also recently completed school and began her career as a machinist. She cuts metal, smells of machine coolant, and hopes to soon buy, then hold tightly, a Ford F150 pickup.
With my daughter’s diverse array of what most consider traditionally feminine and masculine interests, I am forced to admit my surprise at the wide range of things one woman can be. She pays no mind to what interests a woman is “supposed to” pursue. Instead of listening to the world and its predetermined norms, she listens to her heart and to what God has called her to be. And while she laughs at the scars and calluses on her hands from working with metal and large machines 10 hours a day, she turns my world upside down.
And I think that God wants me to turn the world upside down with my faith.
“Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant.”
“Whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.”
“The Lord was pleased to crush him in infirmity.”
“Through his suffering, my servant shall justify many.”
“A high priest … who has been similarly tested in every way.”
“The Son of Man has come to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The world expected a God to be frigid, vengeful, untouchably powerful king. What has been revealed instead is a God who loves so much he offers His Son to live as one of us, and a Son who loves so much he offers his life as ransom for our sins.
But God isn’t the only one meant to turn the world on its side. With a nod to my daughter’s example, I am not called to satisfy the world’s expectations for me, but to fulfill God’s desires for me. And His desire is that I lead others by being their slave–not exactly the kind of greatness the world glorifies.
Nevertheless, the rewards that God has promised me are far greater than any earthly honors or fleeting pleasures, and I was formed in my mother’s womb to serve, not to be served. If the Creator of the universe and His only begotten Son love me through their own chosen humiliation, then I must thank and follow them by humbling myself in love to serve others as well.
God has created me in love and chosen me to love like Him. This is a radical, upside down love. It’s not what the world expects, but it is the expectation of He who created the world.
Lord God, you delight in choosing to love those You have created. You have chosen me to live out Your love, poured out that love to me through the life, death and resurrection of Your Son, my Lord, Jesus Christ. All glory and honor and praise to You. My soul waits for you, Lord. May Your kindness ever be upon me. My hope is in You.