At the Threshold devotion: Thursday March 20

Share: A moment from today when you felt close to God, and a moment when you felt far from God. 

Read: John 13.16

"Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them."

and Philippians 2:5-7

"Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness."

Reflect: In both these passages, we see Jesus setting himself on the side of slaves and servants. What does this tell us about God, who in Jesus, encounters the world as a servant and slave? What does this tell us about greatness and service? Jesus then says that “if you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” (John 13.17) How you put this knowledge into action?

Discuss: Our country has a long and tragic history with slavery. Although slavery is no longer legal, there are more people enslaved today than at any time in human history—in both production of goods (chocolate, clothing, coffee, etc) and in the providing of services (sex trafficking, house-servants, hospitality workers, etc). We often do not see this reality. In addition, our tendency to divide people into greater and lesser still remains. Where have you seen God at work through people and places the world deems "lesser"? How can you be a part of changing this situation, even in small ways at work, school, or home?

Learn more and find ways to help from these organizations: Anti-Slavery, Free the Slaves,  the Polaris Project, the International Rescue Committee, the Exodus Road, and the Not For Sale campaign.

Pray: God, you placed yourself over and over again with the lowest of the low. Help me to see where I look down on people, and give me courage to kneel with you at their feet, loving and serving rather than judging. Help me to see where I use people for my own convenience, and give me the courage to choose differently, even in small ways. Help me to see your image in every face, and not to turn away. Amen.

Posted on March 20, 2014 and filed under devotions, Lent.