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Luke 17:5-10, Perspective

Key Verse

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
— Luke 17:5

RCL Daily Devotion for Sunday, October, 6, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Dr. Kimberly Leetch from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

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Main Idea: We can find joy in our serving, even when we are not recognized for our service.

By this point in Jesus’ ministry, he had become quite famous and revered. It’s no surprise his disciples would let it get to their heads. As any good entourage, they rode the high of Jesus’ success.

But Jesus knew his work was for more than fame and recognition. There was genuine, important work to be done. He took this opportunity to remind them of the mission and ministry. He warned them not to let the fame elevate them too high to help common folk – not to become stumbling blocks or obstacles for those who were just trying to get close to Jesus – to learn, be healed, or bask in the presence of a loving and culture-shifting leader. He reminded them not to become too big to forgive. They were following Jesus for a greater purpose – to serve, not to be exalted.

I’m not gonna lie – when I was a parish pastor, I often lived for the moments I could shine as a leader, preacher, or teacher. When I left parish ministry, it was a long, hard fall from pseudo-fame and recognition to complete and utter nothingness. Suddenly I had no more Christmas presents for the pastor, no accolades for my awesome preaching, no hugs from beloved parishioners. It was just me in my house with my family. (And yes, they love me too, but they’ve seen the person who loses her temper, farts, and sleeps in too late, so they’re much less enamored by me.) It was in this lonely time I had to learn what it truly meant to serve without recognition – to cook meals every day, just to find my teens had just eaten a huge bowl of cereal; to pick up dog poop only to step in another land mine; to sit at my laptop all day, only to have my family ask me to run errands because I’m “home all day.” It was here that I learned it had to be enough to know I was doing God’s work, even if nobody else on the planet recognized it.

There’s a genuine peace of knowing and accepting this reality. And it makes, “Thanks for dinner, mom” so much sweeter!

 

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