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A Servant’s Heart

Mark 9:30-37

I love a parade! As a high school band student I played the bass drum. The preparation, practices, and formation drills led up to the day of the American Royal Parade in Kansas City. Once on the bus we laughed, talked and made lots of noise as teenagers. However, when we got to our spot on the parade route our band teacher, A.T. Estes, made sure we were ready to march. Our spats were white, hats on straight, band uniforms clean, instruments tuned and we were in straight lines ready to take off when the drum major gave the signal.

The job of the drum major was to be out front and set the pace. They seemed to get all the attention and the band members were just another black uniform in the row. After all, the drum major usually wore white, had a tall hat with a plume, carried a whistle to tell us when to move and carried a bright gold/silver baton to tell us when to strike up the band. It appeared like an easy glamorous job.

The truth is the drum major’s job was anything but easy. He/she had to work extra hard to learn the steps, keeping the pace, know the music by heart and lead the band. When one of our rows was out of step (and with our band that wasn’t unusual) the drum major had to leave the front and get us back into formation.

In this scripture it appears that the disciples all wanted to be the drum major. They saw the job as glamorous and each of them wanted to be the “greatest” in the band. By the time they arrived in Capernaum it had become obvious to the band director, Jesus, that he would have to help them understand that being a drum major isn’t all glamorous . . . in fact it would take hard work wrapped in a servant’s heart.

A Servant’s Heart begins in the Service of Humanity. (v. 30-32)

We are called to be the salt and light to a bland, dark society desperately in need of help. If we are to serve the people of this world there are three ideas that Charles Swindoll describes as servants of humanity.

1. “I am different.” Christ makes the difference between what we look like and the world we live in now. We cannot serve humanity if we get sucked into prevailing culture and conform to society’s expectations.

2. “I am responsible.” Christ makes the difference between whether we live in isolation or integration. Our job is to be in the world making a difference, but not of the world’s evil influence.

3. “I am influential.” Swindoll writes, “Let’s not kid ourselves. The very fact that we belong to Christ — -that we don’t adapt to the system, that we march to a different drumbeat — -gives us an influence in this society of ours. We are influencing others in our every behavior, be it good or bad. Even when we aren’t trying, out comes the salt and on comes the light.”1

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