Serving at the Pleasure of THE KING

I’ve heard one variation of a certain phrase on the TV show “Blue Bloods.” The main character of the show, the police chief, will say from time to time, “I serve at the pleasure of the Mayor.” I’ve also heard a similar phrase from real life politicians who “Serve at the pleasure of the President.”

The phrase came to my mind this evening because Christian Service has been the theme of the school that I’ve helped lead this week. We defined Christian Service in terms of Philippians 2:1-4. The essence of it consists in rejecting a self-centered way of thinking and counting others as more significant than ourselves. Jesus provides the ultimate example, “Who, though he was in the form of God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant” (Phil. 2:6-7). 

He set his own significance and status aside. He made himself the lowest status in society by acting as a servant. That is our motivation and drive for serving others, seeing and experiencing the love of Jesus. Unfortunately, even in our recognition of our need to serve others, sometimes we forget about our motivation. We want to count others as significant but not more significant than ourselves. We certainly then struggle with setting aside our own significance.

We want to serve others but not at the expense of becoming a servant. We don’t want to condescend to that level. Then, whether we are a senior adult or a 6th grade middle schooler, we end up serving on our terms, for our benefit, expecting (or at least hoping for) recognition and encouragement for doing so.

What we have to remember is that Jesus holds all things together (Col. 1:17). We are alive because he allows it. He sustains us. He has prepared good works for us, according to his purpose (Eph. 2:10). He is king, and we serve at his pleasure. 

May those of us who are served in the church be grateful toward, and thankful for, those who serve us. May those who serve remember that we do not serve for our own pleasure, for recognition, or for our own purpose. We serve at the pleasure of THE KING. All glory be to God the Father!