Exodus 12:1-14a; Psalm 78:14-17, 22-25; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-15
28 March 2002
In tonight's homily, I want to give you some little vignettes of service. At the end we will connect these little stories to the ministry of Jesus and the calling of every Christian.
One of the funniest business experiences I had occurred a few months after I had sold my Missouri software company to a large Silicon Valley company. In the first few months after we moved to California from Missouri, I hired over thirty people and began building a new division. Everyone was new and new people were coming through the door of our division building every day. It was a crazy time.
One day an older man dressed in overalls came through the front door of our division offices. Without saying anything he looked around and began to collect some trash on the tables and organized the overflowing trashcan behind the front desk. I happened to walk down the hall when the receptionist grabbed me and asked whether this man was the new janitor. He wasn't wearing an ID badge and she did not know if he was a homeless person, a security risk or a new janitor. I looked out in the reception area, nearly burst out laughing and told her, "You're wrong on all counts. That's Clarence who is Chairman of the Board. He and I have a meeting in a few minutes."
Nobel peace prizewinner Mahatma Gandhi was known for his work cleaning public toilets in some of the grimiest sections of Bombay and Calcutta. When people around him urged him to concentrate on more important matters, Gandhi remarked that he needed to do these jobs to remind him of his duty to serve others. Unlike my former company executive, Gandhi's example of service was entirely self-giving with no strings attached.
Like everything else these days the modern notion of service leads us to believe that one should serve others only to fulfill an obligation (like the service hours hi ...
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