HIS REVOLUTIONARY CALLING
1 Peter 2:20-23 But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps…When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
The signature of Jesus: the Cross. For me the most difficult and demanding dimension of discipleship on a day-in, day-out basis is the commitment to a life of unending availability. In the early stage of my journey, in the first flush of full love, the imitation of…God the Servant, was a romantic, even intoxicating notion. [Today] being a servant is as unsentimental as duty, as steadily demanding as need. Hurting people are always there, and sometimes the power of their need, like a suction on my spirit, drains me of everything. One of my problems with Jesus is that he always seems to come at the wrong time. Small wonder that Teresa of Avila complained, “Lord, if this is the way you treat your friends, it’s no surprise you have so few.”
In words to this effect, Jesus told his listeners, “A sign indeed you will have, but it will not be the sign of the Romans being driven into the sea, or of the sun growing dark; it will be a sign of the Servant of Yahweh to be manifested first in my life and then in my death, and after that in the lives of my disciples. Their joyous commitment to the Good News of my Father’s kingdom will issue in lives of service that will permit no doubt about the validity of my message…”
A beautiful game plan. If indeed we lived a life in imitation of his, our witness would be irresistible. If we dared to live beyond our self-concern; if we refused to shrink from being vulnerable; if we took nothing but a compassionate attitude toward the world; if we were a counterculture to our nation’s lunatic lust for pride of place, power, and possessions; if we preferred to be faithful rather than successful, the walls of indifference to Jesus Christ would crumble. A handful of us could be ignored by society, but hundreds, thousands, millions of such servants would overwhelm the world…The call of Jesus is revolutionary. If we implemented it, we would change the world in a few months.
The Signature of Jesus, by Brennan Manning, pg. 43-45.