Friday, May 10, 2013

Latin Feasts and Servant Hearts

In my "pay check" job I teach Latin. One of the highlights of the year is the Latin Feast the last week of school. Traditionally the youngest students come as slaves and the older students are assigned places on the class spectrum of ancient Roman society. It just so happens this year that students who have been slaves two years already are the youngest class. They don't want to be slaves again and are pretty vocal in their protests!

I thought of using the slave thing as a motivation for rewarding hard work so that the students in that class who had worked the hardest would be rewarded by being promoted from slave to freedman. Would you believe that a few moms vigorously protested because her particular student didn't make that cut? Just sayin' ...

So I went back to the "drawing board" and appealed to the oldest class who would now be Patricians to show leadership by being slaves this year. As you might imagine, that crashed and burned very quickly! Then I thought, OK, maybe some moms and I can be slaves. And the more I think about it, the more I like that idea!  One mom emailed last night that her daughter and another girl in that youngest class wanted to be slaves a third year.

I have been reflecting ... I think there just might be a parable here. Our hearts are dark places. We don't like to take the low seat or the servant role. We often think we are entitled to better even if the reason is only just because or It's just not fair!

Not only are our hearts dark places, we live in a dark, broken world! 

There is an historical account - actually from the days of the Roman empire - of One who came from another world to take on the role of servant even choosing to die the most humiliating death in the most shameful way! He was the High King who chose to serve. He did it because there was NO darkness in His heart! He did it so the darkness in my heart and yours can be removed forever! His name is Jesus! He told us to be salt and light so He put hands and feet on that command. He showed us the way!

2The evening meal was in progress, ... Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. ... 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them! (John 17:2-17)

What a parable for my heart today! It isn't easy to be a servant, but the One who shows that way makes it possible by changing dark hearts to want to push back darkness and be light - to become servants too!