Rerun of Daily Devotional July 29, 2015
My senior year in college, I had a great deal of trouble finding a job. After filling out too many job applications, I was finally hired as a janitor in a sausage factory. I was incredibly thankful for the job.
For an entire year, I cleaned meat packing equipment, floors, toilets and anything else that needed scrubbing. I always smelled like bleach and sausage.
I had a friend in college who never had to worry about money. From time to time he would make comments about how he would never work in a sausage factory because he refused to smell like bleach and sausage.
In essence, what he was saying was that cleaning a sausage factory was beneath him.
I think the same attitude can be seen in the way we live out our call to serve others in Jesus’ name. If we aren’t careful, we can end up adopting an attitude that communicates that there are some things in Christianity that are beneath us.
Way back at the beginning of time, I served as a youth director for an affluent church. One of the most important ministries of the church was a secondhand store that sold clothing, food, hygiene items and furniture for very little money to the poor. The store was staffed by volunteers from the church.
One day, one of the volunteers had finished her shift and walked into the church office to visit with the secretary. As soon as she walked in the door she started telling me about all the disgustingly dirty, smelly people that came to the store and how she was always thankful when her shift was over.
I realized that even though she worked in that wonderful outreach ministry, there was no love in her heart for those whom she served. They were beneath her.
Jesus spent a great deal of time reaching out to the poor and marginalized. He loved the powerful and the powerless. He touched a leper, ate with a tax collector, and intentionally ministered to those who were seen as the dregs of society. Nothing was beneath him.
If we are going to walk in Jesus’ footsteps and follow his path, there is nothing and no one beneath us. Everyone is to be loved and served.
This was the message that Jesus taught the disciples when he washed their feet and said, “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” (John 13:14-17)
Make it a point to make someone’s life a little easier and lighten their load. If you do this, I am positive that when God looks at you, God will smile.
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me to see others as Jesus did. Give me a heart of compassion, gratitude, humility and service. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Just for the record, it was years after college before I was finally able to eat sausage again. Time heals all.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.