From the Editor

Servants of the Servant of God

Michael L. Sherer

Michael L. Sherer

Humility is a virtue we all need to practice.

Some Lutheran congregations will mark Maundy Thursday with a re-enactment of Jesus’ humble action — kneeling in front of his followers while washing their feet. That was a task normally saved, in the Roman Empire, for servants. To get on your knees before another was to show you “knew your place.”
During the Revolutionary War, volunteer soldiers were struggling to move a heavy log out of a roadway. A colonel sat on his “high horse,” supervising. A general happened by. He dismounted, helped with the task, and then scolded the colonel for not having done likewise. The general was none other than George Washington.

Last fall, Central Lutheran Church sponsored an ethics-in-business seminar at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The CEO of a major Twin Cities corporation, a good Lutheran, said casually, “CEOs always get the prime parking places. Maybe sometimes we should set an example and park at the far end of the parking lot.”

The Metro Lutheran office is a very small operation. Our four staff people take turns with mundane tasks. That’s good. It keeps us humble. Our building has a policy requiring each office to arrange to have its waste baskets emptied into a hall bin. Kathe, Jean and David have all been known to take their turns. So have I. An occasional visitor, catching the editor emptying wastebaskets, has wondered outloud, in my presence, whether that’s appropriate.

I’ve had the same response from clergy who phone and say, “I called and the editor answered. What are the odds?” Actually, before our new phone system (see page 2), the odds were fairly good.

Regardless how servant behavior shapes other people, it has great potential for shaping you and me, when we practice it. If Jesus can get down on his knees for our sake, we surely can for his. To be servants of the servant of God is high privilege.

Humility is a virtue. For healthy living, it’s also a necessity. When we practice it, we’re in very good company indeed.