This past week I have been in Atlanta, GA. FTE is hosting its annual Christian Leadership Forum. I wasn’t looking forward to another week of meetings but then last night happened. God showed up unexpectedly. Ched Myers was sharing and in an off-handed sort of way he referred to the irony of what it would mean for the church to take seriously the call to make “America Great Again”. So I have been thinking about greatness, particularly from the perspective of Jesus. As we all know Jesus was a radical who marched to his own drumbeat.
In Matthew 18:3 Jesus suggests that the only way to gain access to the Kingdom of God is to become like a child. Jesus repeats this sentiment again in John 3:3 when telling Nicodemus he needed to be “born again.”
In Mark 9:35, when talking to the Disciples about greatness Jesus tied power to moving to becoming the last, the least, and serving all.
In Philippians 2:5 Paul encourages Christians to have the very same mind as Jesus. For Jesus to complete his mission it meant giving up all of his power.
These verses are only a small sampling of what Jesus had to say about greatness. The theme remains, being a Christian has something to do with rejecting power and embracing weakness. I have the privilege of living in the United States, a self-described Christian nation. Can you imagine what would happen if we took greatness, as defined by Jesus seriously?
How would our foreign policy change if was saw our enemies as people whom we called to serve, love and be in submission to? What would it mean to prioritize service to our enemies, both foreign and domestic over military power, economic dominance and religious superiority? Cam you envision a world where we prioritize the safety, security and well-being of the immigrant, prisoner, welfare family, and the economically disenfranchised over our personal needs? I suspect that this kind of reorientations would make America Great. I suppose the question is both simple and difficult, do we have the courage to live this way?