“When God wants to bring Christ into the world, he looks for servants. No diploma required. No bloodline specified. Bank accounts are not a factor. Place of birth doesn’t matter. Let all unassuming people of the world be reminded: God can use you.”- Max Lucado, How Happiness Happens
“And if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy you needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”- Isaiah 58:10-11 (NIV)
In Max Lucado’s most recent book, How Happiness Happens, he reflects on one of the most unassuming people in his life. That extraordinarily ordinary man , who led a Bible class of four fourth-grade boys at Max’s church, rerouted the path of Max’s life. That, in turn, prompted me to think of unassuming people I’ve met. Mr. Norman Schinske immediately came to mind.
What I remember most about Mr. Schinske was his quiet faithfulness. Each Sunday, always attired in a sportscoat and tie, Mr. Schinske applied his faith perspective to impart the truth of the scheduled lesson. The biblical text, rooted in his heart, came alive through his insights. Hence, one sentence from Mr. Schinske’s obituary truly captures the essence of his soul: “Norman was a kind and caring man, loved by many, with a strong faith in his Savior.” (emphasis mine)
Certainly, Mr. Schinske embraced the role of a quiet servant. People Max Lucado refers to as the supporting cast in the kingdom of God. Furthermore, writing in Experiencing God, Henry T. Blackaby contrasts our human concept of a servant with God’s viewpoint:
“The human concept of a servant is that a servant goes to his master and says, ‘Master, what do you want me to do?’ The master tells him, and the servant goes off by himself and does it. That is not the biblical concept of a servant of God. Being a servant of God is different from being a servant of a human master. A servant of a human master works for his master. God, however, works through His servants (emphasis author’s).”
Therefore, Pastor Lucado underscores, Mary’s servant spirit led God to select her as the mother of Jesus. However, Mary hailed from the dusty village of Nazareth – located in an oppressed district in Galilee. In addition, Mary, a young Jewish woman, occupied the lowest level in the social strata of her day. Most significantly, among unassuming people, Mary was extraordinarily ordinary. But one virtue set her apart: “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”- Luke 1:38 (NLT)
Consequently, Max exhorts, measure the success of your day with this standard: Whom can I help today? Because there’s a constant supply of people needing help, you’ll find yourself wildly successful. Since you exist to serve others, circumstances exert no lasting effect on you. Also, as you model the quiet servanthood of Christ, you elevate your joy as you give joy to others.
In conclusion, consider these words from the opening chorale of J. S. Bach’s Easter Cantata (BWV 66), Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen:
“Rejoice you hearts, fade away, you sorrows, the Savior lives and rules within you. You can drive away mourning, fear, anxious despair, the Savior revives his spiritual kingdom.”