image servant at a banquet
“… serve me while I eat and drink;
later you may eat and drink”
Meister des Codex Manesse (Grundstockmaler) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Our pastor preached on Luke 17:5-10. The disciples want more faith. Jesus tells them a story about what it means to be a servant.

It means you don’t set your own agenda, you don’t follow your own preferences or your “bliss,” and you don’t expect thanks for just doing your job. Our pastor says: the issue isn’t really how much faith you have, you really don’t need much; it’s how faithful you are in living out that faith. That’s the more serious challenge. In a way of life based on service – on serving others, on attending to the needs of others – the focus is on the needs and preferences of others, rather than on one’s own. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be.

I think we generally think of servants as people who have no choice. It’s the opposite of our idea of freedom, the purpose of which is to enable us to do what we want, when we want. The idea of free people serving others is a challenge to that understanding of freedom, and the point of freedom.

The question isn’t how much faith do you have; the question is – what do you think it means to be free?