The kings of the nations lord it over them. … But you are not this way; rather, a leader must become like a servant. … For I am among you as the one who serves. Luke 22:25–27
“Follow me!” is the legitimate call of leaders who have earned the right to lead. How do we earn this right? We lay down our lives in service. The more we extend our resources for the benefit of our followers, the more they will feel enabled and inclined to follow. Do we need to fear we will not be able to give ourselves completely? No, because Jesus rose from the dead. Easter is the promise of infinite resources. Easter was the validation of Jesus’ greatest act of service: giving his life for his people. Jesus took up his cross and led the way into a future where fellowship with God is possible. This makes him the One best qualified to say, “Follow me!” His resurrection promises renewal and resurrection to all who follow him. We need not fear loss as we give ourselves on behalf of our followers, because all Jesus’ disciples have access to the Father’s infinite resources through him. So, every time we empty ourselves, we can be certain he will raise us up by renewing our energy, creativity, wisdom, and courage. In the same faithful and just way as his Father, he will vindicate our service in his name and give us the integrity to say to those we lead, “Follow me!”
Lord and Christ, grant me the courage to bear the cross as I confidently give myself to others in your name. Amen.