Thursday, June 2, 2011

Getting Dirty for Jesus

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



Father's Day is approaching (viz., 6/19).

Comparing it to Mother's Day is like comparing Rachel Maddow to Sarah Palin.

One is hot and one is not.

Parenthetically, I've been saying SP has no chance of winning the big political prize. Of course, I said that about the current resident on Pennsylvania Avenue. On the other backhand of American poles/polls, the established jackasses, pachyderms, and pundits are OCDing in ganging up to scorn, slander, and savage her; which has gotta mean she must have a chance.

Be that as it may not be, Father's Day is approaching and worship attendance won't rival the stats for Mother's Day and I'll probably get a comb or some after shave if you know what I mean.

Anyway, I'm thinking about my father/Father.

He has always been my model of fidelity to God, family, and country.

Just like my sons, I've been slow to receive his/His counsel; and that has been, like my sons, to my disadvantage.

Lately, I've been thinking about two things that he said - one not long after I was ordained and one about a decade ago.

Not long after being ordained which was not long after being trained for the imperial priesthood by one of the world's best seminaries for doing that with explicit rubrics on being button-downed, wing-tipped, and Brooksed, he scoffed, "I'll bet you think manual labor is the new second baseman for the Yankees."

About a decade ago when he struggled with attending a wedding because he wasn't sure how the couple and the groom's mom felt about him which has so sadly proven pejorative since, he announced, "If people don't really want me around, I don't need to be around and put on some phony-baloney show when something comes up when my presence is pretended to be necessary."

My father got it from our Father.



Jesus talked a lot about service; precisely, serving rather than being served.

Francis' famous prayer comes to mind; and if you don't know it, google Prayer of Saint Francis.

It captures the essence of the kinda love that Jesus modeled for people daring to claim Him as Lord.

I lost sight of that for so long; despite my father's/Father's example/exhortation.

I was trained to think undershepherding means getting other people to do the dirty work.

Again, I was trained to keep my hands clean without calluses, wear outrageously expensive vestments, receive vocational discounts, and get preferred parking at hospitals and church parking lots to symbolize my commitment to humble servanthood in the name of Jesus.

You know what I mean; and if you don't, trying to explain it to you is as useless as trying to explain why I ride Return as much as I can.

BTW, I was thinking of letting you know how I've been called to get dirty for Jesus; but realized part of serving is not needing respect, response, regard, or reward.

I was also thinking of asking some of KD's more financially blessed to fork over for some tools to...; but I realized part of serving is trusting our Father to provide without asking those who should already know they've been blessed to...

Disciples don't have to be asked because they're so eager to serve.

I've gone back to Brother Lawrence: "Do everything for the love of God...doing them with a desire to please Him...All consists in one hearty renunciation of everything which we are sensible enough to know does not lead to God...Our sanctification does not depend upon changing our works, but in doing that for God's sake which we commonly do for our own...The most excellent method of going to God is doing our common business without any view of pleasing men and - as far as we are capable - purely for the love of God."

In other words, we are at our/His best when we practice the presence of God in all we think, say, and do; remembering belief is confirmed by behavior.

One of Brother Lawrence's biographers used a metaphor to capture the call/command/compelling to walk the talk of service: "I once saw a heavily-loaded truck stuck in an underpass. There could be no getting through short of unloading. I was reminded that the way is still narrow and the gate is still straight that leads into life...Brother Lawrence invites us to unload and to come on through."

Increasingly, for me, that means shedding imperial priesthood and joining true servants in dirty ministries.



Jesus talked about shaking off the dust when not invited, welcomed, included, and loved.

I've always been humbled by my father's/Father's focus.

While loving fools which means praying/laboring for their best, he/He never suffered them gladly.

My father/Father never strayed from his/His purpose; often moving ahead without those who tried to discourage, detour, or deter him/Him.

Always prepared to reconcile, he/He never played games with his/His time or energies; teaching creative neglect at his/His best to me.

Not always getting him/Him right, I was taught simply not to respond to people who showed a consistency of selfish, irascible, and irreconcilable countenance as well as deportment.

Getting dirty for Jesus doesn't mean bathing in the slop of total depravity - ours or theirs.

It means lowering ourselves after his/His example in order to elevate others.

It means no one is too big or important not to do dishes, take out the trash, clean toilets, sweep floors, wash windows, and...

Even graduates of...

Again, it's a waste of time trying to explain that to...

Such knowledge/wisdom requires being born anothen - washing up to get dirty for Jesus.



Blessings and Love!


Jim in NC said...

FANTASTIC! (And I'm not talking about SP).

Crystal said...

part of serving is trusting our Father to provide without asking those who should already know they've been blessed to...Disciples don't have to be asked because they're so eager to serve.
He pays our check:) We serve, not because we're asked, but because we love Him!

Anonymous said...