Have you ever noticed in very large corporate boardrooms the tables are almost always rectangles? And most of the time the most prominent person in the company is put at the head of the table. Everyone turns to listen to what he or she has to say, often taking notes so they don’t forget the orders given. These rectangular tables reflect our desire to be in charge, to issue orders, and to have others follow them, doesn’t it? Many of us work tirelessly to one-day hold the position at the head of the table.
According to Arthurian legend, in 1155 King Arthur established the famed Round Table, around which he and his Knights would gather. As its name suggests, it had no head, implying that everyone who sat there had equal status. In the Gospel of Luke, the disciples began to argue over who would be the greatest among them–who would sit at the head of the table. When Jesus overheard them arguing, He replied, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant” Luke 22:25-26.
Here Jesus is teaching us that our desire to be in charge and seated at the head of the rectangle table is misplaced. Our desire, which is given to us by God, should be to serve one another and not to be in charge of one another. This was not the only record of the disciples having an argument about who would be the greatest. Earlier in Luke 9:48, Jesus responds similarly by saying, “…Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.”
How much mental energy do we spend ranking ourselves with those around us? If we’re not the CEO of a company, how much time do we waste dreaming of being the “ONE” in charge? Jesus teaches that the desire to serve each other should be greater than our desire to be in charge. What if instead of spending our mental energy ranking ourselves with those around us, we spent that same energy serving each other?
As we seek to model our life after the life of Christ, may our desire to serve be greater than our desire to rank ourselves among those who–like us–are created in the image of God.
Grace & Peace.
A simple tangible way to serve others is through A Turning Point. A Turning Point is Good Shepherd’s non-profit arm committed to helping individuals in need in the Northland.