Monday, August 2, 2010

"Wait until next year"

"Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all." (Mark 10:43-44)

Yesterday was the birthday of man I admire highly for the way he serves others. I've had the privilege of knowing Josh Keifer now for many years. He is my wife's cousin so I met him back in his college years. We kind of became friends by default because he was dating Heather's best friend, Jennifer, who is now is lovely wife. I'm glad for those years and I am also glad to still know him and to know him more than I did back then. We share a common love for saying, "Wait until next year" when the Cubs season ends always thinking next year will be it. We also share a liking for sports and video games. But I've also seen him grow into a man of God and a leader in his marriage. The biggest thing that has always stood out with me about Josh is his willingness to serve others. Never once have I seen or heard him complain when an opportunity to serve another arises.

Unfortunately Josh and Jennifer live a couple hours distance from us so that kind of hinders our time to spend with one another. I remember when Emma was born Josh and Jennifer just hopping in a car to come see us and spend a few hours at the hospital and then get back in the car and drive home. Or when Heather and I were struggling and they drove down after work to come talk and eat dinner and then drove back home. Or Josh always making time for his younger cousins. Or the way he serves at the house with their new little one, Noah. Or the times he has picked up the phone to talk Theology with me so we can discern false teaching. Or the way he loves his wife and serves her. He's never been the outspoken leader but I think he's content to lay back, serve others and do it for the glory of his God. I say that because as you read on in this passage of Mark we read of the ultimate example of servanthood in Jesus Christ. "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).

Josh loves to serve because he loves Jesus Christ and he knows the reality of the gospel. Josh has been transformed by grace so his life is a reflection of that truth. I'm grateful to have him as a friend and really I'm glad to be a part of his family. Thanks Josh for your example of what this passage speaks about being a servant.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

PS - Happy Birthday

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