Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Rev. Klockers: A Godly job description that runs against the grain of the world

| October 14, 2020 1:00 AM

From Deuteronomy, chapter 17, verses 18-20:

“When (the king) has taken the throne of his kingdom, he shall have a copy of this law written for him in the presence of the Levitical priests. It shall remain with him and he shall read in it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, diligently observing all the words of this law and these statutes, neither exalting himself above other members of the community nor turning aside from the commandment, either to the right or to the left, so that he and his descendants may reign long over his kingdom in Israel.”

The above was part of the job description for Israel’s king. For me, the most surprising part of this charge was for the king not to put himself above others. Instead, he was to be a servant king. This was quite unusual.

One can’t help to then be led to Jesus’ words found in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 20, verses 25b-28:

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

I believe one of the chief lessons in this life can be about leadership, title, authority and what form they may take. How power is wielded is key. For me, the greatest among them are those who primarily benefit the needs of others – not themselves – and thus become a source of inspiration.

There are those who might call this naïve or unrealistic, and claim that it may run against human nature.

If the scorecard is strictly a worldly one, this rings true. However, God calls us to a high standard.

When this is achieved, on any level, a bit of the kingdom of God breaks through.

In those rare instances there needs to be celebration.

I pray for such celebrations. Please join me in doing so.

Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Moses Lake and has served as parish pastor for more than 30 years.