We Need Fewer Superstars and More Servants
September 11, 2016
Today is the fifteenth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon. People have spent time today reflecting on that day. Personally, I was teaching in school when I heard that the first plane hit the tower. I was puzzled, but then we all went into a room and watched as the second plane hit. Reflecting on that day, I saw the nation embrace fireman and policemen as heroes again. They were the superstars that day. We praised them for their courage and bravery. But they weren’t really superstars. Instead, they were servants doing their job – to protect and serve.
We tend to look back at events like this and create an American patriotic mythology. These people who were doing their job were merely servants, but we turn them into superheroes. The people who stormed the plane to attack the terrorists and crashed the plane become patriotic martyrs. The terrorists become the enemy. This American mythology helps to ease the pain. Yet it comes with a potential danger. That danger is making superstars out of servants.
Stories were told of people who flooded the churches to come, pray, worship, reflect, and repent. Yet where is that some devotion today? We have turned a sacred moment in time into a patriotic one. The worship we spend in memorial of the victims doesn’t happen in the church, but in the public sector.
Like the woman in this passage, we praise our superstars. She praised Mary because she was the mother of Jesus. We praise the people who nourished us back to national health – Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the armed forces as they attack the terrorists in Afghanistan, and the people who re-constructed the Twin Towers.
Jesus warns us that we don’t need superstars, but servants. We don’t need to worship people. Instead, we need to turn to God, listen to His Word, and be obedient. Jesus warns us not to worship people. He challenges us to worship God, listen to Him, and obey what He says.