(Photo Courtesy: google images)
“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”-Romans 12:3 (NASB)
I have been leading my youth group through the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. If you haven’t read Nehemiah, I highly recommend doing so, especially if you have a heart to create change in your community.
Anyway, we were reading about the job descriptions and the individuals who were doing the work in chapter 3. We got to this verse:
“Malchijah the son of Rechab, the official of the district of Beth-haccherem
repaired the Refuse Gate.
He built it and hung its doors with its bolts and its bars.”-Neh. 3:14
It doesn’t seem like that big of a verse, but when you have students reading and picking things apart with a broader view, which is my goal, they will catch something that I may overlook.
Yes, they laughed because it was the refuse gate, in fact, we were reading the NIV and it had it as the “dung gate”. They were curious about what actually was put there and why it was necessary.
Malchijah was a person of nobility. He came from a leadership position and was working on a gate that was used for “refuse”. He actually built the door and put it in place! He put his status aside and got the job done! All for the glory of God to protect the people of Jerusalem!
This was what caught the eye of the students.
This led us to talk about the Church as a whole, service, and meeting the needs of our community.
Then, we spoke about Jesus. Everything in the Old Testament points us towards Jesus. Nehemiah’s story isn’t any different.
Jesus, the Son of God, came down in a lowly way to serve His creation. He came born in a manger and into a family from Nazareth, which, even one of his disciples questioned if anything good could come from that location. He chose to bring himself to a low spot in order to reach the broken.
This is the example of service set by our Lord, God in the flesh, coming to earth in order to reconcile His creation back to Himself.
Finally, we ended with this thought: “If a nobleman can rebuild a gate for ‘refuse’ and Jesus can come to earth, not in riches, but in poverty. Then, how can we say we are too good to serve others in any capacity or role?”
Once we think we are too good to serve a certain group of people or do a certain job; then we instantly put ourselves above God, the very God, who was willing to step down off His throne, to walk with the lowest of the low.
May we always remember the sacrifice of our Savior from the very beginning of His life all the way to the end and may we always remember, no matter what status we hold, we are called to serve beyond ourselves for the glory of our Creator.
QUESTION: What service roles are hard for you to step into?