But among you it is not so. No, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
no matter what ideal vanities
we hold up as worth our life
to break our relationships
to measure once wrongly
the overlooked plumb line
is expansive partnership
we’re in this together
the surest way to the slough
is to have every arrow shot
to our central loneliness
stuffed with survival and surfeit
cramped by hoarding
your life in my cache
the insanity of our result
persists in every fantasy
refusing to solve a puzzle
through new perspective
from a creative commonality
stretching backward and forward
height requiring breadth
What we know is the way the world currently works, the power structures found in family, politics, military, and church.
What is being asked for here is a considered review of how that seems to work itself out for women in a patriarchal culture, for wage slaves in a capitalistic economy, or for followers of Jesus in a prosperity theology.
As we run into the pitfalls of current structural ways of interacting with one another, there is to be a present choice invoked that change must occur. This means an awareness of how people are turned into subservients and to not just ally ourselves with them or advocate on their behalf but be an accomplice with them in changing the current order.
As might be expected, this talk of being a servant is simply a variant on the suffering, death, and resurrection talk that has become the background of our new life of “repentance and changed hearts” from way back at the beginning of this story.
It is good to remember the Invitation to a Covenant Service that was adapted by John Wesley for those wrestling with what it means to live a holy life, a life of G*D (modified from The United Methodist Book of Worship291). Being a servant begins in liminal space of intention to be turned to action. Among the many services to be lived,
Some are more easy and honorable. Some are suitable to our inclinations and interests, others are contrary to both. In some we may please our partners (G*D and Neighb*r) and please ourself. In some we cannot please our partners except through suffering and death. It is necessary, therefore to consider what it means to be a servant.