This Sunday I interacted with several heroes. Not the comic book kind that swing around on Spidey-ropes, let bullets ping off their chest, and speak in a low gravelly voice while flinging Bat-A-Rang’s at baddies. No, these were real heroes.
My first heroic encounter occurred as I pulled into the church parking lot. Despite the lip-chapping cold, I was greeted by smiling parking crew attendants. Nobody pays much attention to those on the parking crew, but they’re heroes.
I walked into the church and was greeted by a smiling man. His name tag informed me that he was a “greeter”. Hence the greeting. I didn’t know this guy and didn’t catch his name. But his pleasant smile and warm greeting made me feel welcome at the church. How long had he been standing there, smiling to each person that entered?
I was led in singing by a bunch of happy, nameless people. They weren’t in it for the glory of being on stage, and they certainly weren’t making any money out of the deal. I did know one guy, Dave, who has been on the worship team since around the Civil War. He’s always a happy servant, always smiling. He (like me), is probably adored by one person: his wife. But he’s a hero.
After worship all the children made their way to Children’s Ministry. Hundreds of little hearts being instructed in the ways of the Lord. Little noses being wiped, crying babies being held. Nobody watching, no applause. Mostly hard work. That’s true heroism.
In Mark 10:42-45, Jesus said:
And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
This past Sunday I was surrounded by true greatness. Two questions. Do we recognize true greatness? Do we pursue true greatness?
Originally published October, 2008