Let us hear the word of the Lord, “James and John, the sons of Zebedee came forward to him and said to him, teacher we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you, and he said to them, what is it you want me to do for you? And they said to him, grant us to sit one at your right hand and one at your left in your glory. But Jesus said to them, you do not know what you’re asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism that I’m baptized with. They replied. We are able. Then Jesus said to them, the cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I’m baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.
When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John so Jesus called them and said to them, you know that among the gentiles, those whom they recognize as their rulers, Lord it over them and their great ones are tyrants over them, but it is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all, for the son of man came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.” This is the word of the Lord.
Serving is not just doing it once, it’s doing it our whole life
Serving is living. That is our theme for this year. This theme implies that serving is not just doing, but your whole lifestyle. Serving is living. Your life is serving. It is our attitude towards life. It is how we look at our lives. It is our perspective. How you see the world, how you see yourself, how you see your existence. It is our perspective for our lives. In that sense, what you do is not as important as who you are. The fact that your servant is more important. Than the wonderful services you may give, everything we do should come from the fact that we are servants and I realize that this is a very interesting way to look at our lives. Me, a servant, that is a very unique and refreshing way to define who I am and to define what my life is.
But these days I started, I mean in the first few weeks I’ve been focusing and reflecting on this servant hood. And I started appreciating the wisdom to see our life in that way. Maybe there is a secret of joy hidden in that lifestyle of being a servant. Maybe there’s a joy hidden there. I think St. Paul found that joy. That’s why I don’t think he said it casually. He meant it in a very much when he said, for example, in Romans, Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ called to be an apostle servant first. And the apostle. What is important to Paul was the fact that he was a servant. And in Philippians he said, Paul and Timothy Servants of Jesus Christ, that was a new identity Paul found for himself. Before he said, “I’m a Pharisee, I’m a disciple of Gamaliel” all these things he said, but now after finding Christ, he found new identity. He said that I am a servant, servant of Jesus Christ. Why don’t you try to see yourself as a servant this year? You may enjoy that.
Serving Gives us Confidence
So this year’s theme is not just what we do this year. This is maybe the beginning of new life. All of you, as you start seeing your life as servant, your life may turn out differently. You may find something that you never discovered before. Maybe there’s some secret in that lifestyle. So maybe we start this year and it opens up a totally new lifestyle. I am a servant. While, reflecting on this servant hood, one thing I’ve realized is this, somehow being a servant gave me confidence. You know, being a servant is being nothing, just live basically. It’s not a really glorious way to look at your life, but when I look at my life as a servant I realized that it gives me confidence. Where is that confidence coming from? not from the recognition, not from the reward or award. I don’t know what, where it comes from, but when I start seeing myself as a servant, it gives me confidence and I like to share with you today what kind of confidence I’m talking about.
Serving and Arrogance Don’t go Together
In being a servant the first thing we have to have is humility. Being a servant and being arrogant. Don’t go together. Arrogant people can never serve, they do lots of things, but that’s not serving, lot of doings arrogant people can never serve. Being a servant, being arrogant they can never go together.
Humility. I do believe that has to be the basis on which, every human being should build his or her life. That’s my philosophy. That’s what I believe. Humility is the basis on which every human being should build their life on. I don’t care how capable you are, I don’t care how smart, how diligent you are. Humility has to be at there at the base. Humanity that is not based on humility brings disaster. It will collapse. Humanity has to be built on humility. Doesn’t matter who you are. Doesn’t matter how high you are in society, especially the leaders, presidents they should show humility. Humanity has to be based on humility.
Humility is Key
What is humility? I want to simplify this as much as possible for us to understand better. Humility is a condition in which you don’t have to think about yourself too much. That’s what humility is. Humility is a condition in which you don’t have to think about yourself too much. You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone. You don’t have to prove yourself to the world. You don’t even have to prove yourself to yourself. That is humility. What if? What if people think that I’m nobody? What if people think that I’m a failure? What if people think that I am ugly? All of these “what if’s?” They come from the common fear of human beings? Humble people are those who go beyond this common fear of what if. Many people live out this fear, they look like they have achieved so much, but underneath they’re still living out this fear. They have to constantly prove to the world how worthy they are. Constantly have to prove that they are somebody and their life is not failure. They have to constantly show to the world how worthy they are.
You all know the temptation of Satan very much. When you look at temptation of Satan, what is the core thing? What is one thing? This is one thing. If you are the son of God, if you are the son of God, Satan is a master of temptation. He even knew how to tempt the most powerful man, Jesus. And his simple word is this. “If you are the son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread” and further along he said, “if you are the son of God, throw yourself down.” Satan provoked the “what if” of human beings. What if I’m not the son of God? What if people don’t see me as a son of God? What if son of God cannot do all these things? What if Satan attacked that? What if of Jesus Christ and Jesus was a humble man? He didn’t fall into that temptation. Jesus basically said to Satan, I don’t need to prove myself to you. Don’t need to prove myself to you. You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone around you, your friends or whoever.
Satan knew how to tempt Jesus. That’s why Satan is a tempter. He has a PHD in tempting. Satan knew the basic human desire: “prove yourself.” But behind that desire my friends Satan also saw the most terrifying fear hidden. What if I cannot prove myself? Satan hit the most vulnerable spot of human beings. Humility defeats this temptation and humility overcomes this fear. Humble people know that life is not about proving oneself. Life is not about me. Life is not about me. It’s about serving. We don’t live just to prove who I am. Life is simply basically about serving this. It is a new perspective. It is a new way of looking at our lives. People who are humble they discover simply that life is about serving. Whatever situation they may be, they always see the needs and they serve those needs. They are humble people. Jesus said, “you know that among the gentiles, those whom they recognize as their rulers, Lord it over them and their great ones are tyrants over them, but it is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wishes to be the first among you must be slave of all”
The Greatest Vice of Human Beings is the Ego
The greatest vice of human beings is ego, self centeredness, nothing else. It’s as simple this that the greatest vice of human beings is ego. Humility is the way to defeat that ego and overcome our ego. The only way you can defeat your ego is humble service. The more you practice the humble service, the less you’ll be obsessed with yourself. It is a simple change of our perspective, but it requires training and discipline to keep it up and slowly you’ll become free from the imprisonment of ego. Humble people are the people who are free from the imprisonment of ego. Great people, wonderful people.
Last week was tough for me. Maybe it runs in the family. On my birthday last Sunday I got terribly sick and then while brushing my teeth I snapped my back. Then I lost my voice and that same week I happened to have both funeral and wedding where I had to speak. I could barely speak like now worse than this actually. Then I got infection in my eyes. I couldn’t even see very well and to make it worse on the way out to get my medicine for my eyes. I got caught by police and he gave me three tickets. All those minor tickets, but all three tickets I mean, my birthday was last Sunday and only few days was it a delayed for my permit. I didn’t renew my license, permit and they usually let go. Okay, cool, and do and then bring it back. He gave me a ticket, three tickets. God humbled me to write about humility, so I won’t speak so much about humility anymore. Somehow at the funeral I was very peaceful and comfortable.
It’s almost like a spiritual experience. It was not a funeral for one of my congregation members. Usually I do a funeral for the congregation members, but this time it is a relative of our congregation members, so when I got there, I knew nobody. I didn’t know many people. My body was not very good, my voice, my eyes. Somehow my spirit was very high. You know what came into my head at that moment. This is message God gave me. I simply want to serve their needs. They are sad losing their mother, grandma. I just want to be with them and comfort them and give them words of comfort. I just simply want to serve them even though I don’t have much voice to preach and sing. I want to comfort them. They must have done something two days ago. I got an email from the daughter a long letter of how beautiful the service was, how appreciative she was, and she even attended our service in KSM today. Life. It’s not about you. Life is about serving. A lot. People that you can serve around you. There are a lot of people who need you who are in need, serving them is the most beautiful thing that you can do for humanity. Life of serving gives you a confidence since you simply want to serve. You don’t need to worry about anything else. How will do you do? It’s not that important. It can be quite comfortable. I don’t need to insist on my way own way. As long as I see needs, I simply serve them when the needs are not there anymore, you just move on. Life is not about me. Life is not just about how well I do. Life is about serving as best as you can in your capacity. As long as I can serve I am worthy. Don’t try to find worth of yourself somewhere else as long as you serve, you are worthy. For the people who want to protect themselves, who want to show off, there’s always some fear, fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough, fear of worthlessness, but those who wanna simply serve. There’s no fear, only joy, only joy. All you can do is serve and that’s all you will do.
Don’t Worry About What you Become, Be a Servant
Young people here in this room, don’t worry about what you become. Be a servant, a servant, that’s all you gotta do. Give humble service. You’ll be able to see life in a different way and you’ll be able to see what you can do with your life. That’s where the meaning comes. That’s where the meaning of life comes in. Self serving life, no meaning. and life is all about you, no meaning. You simply serve? You find something that you never found before. Joy, meaning, passion. Life is great. I helped the 2017. You all start a life of service life will open up all the opportunities good things will come. When you try to have you realize you don’t have much. You always lack, but even when you try to serve, you realize how much you have. With what kind of mentality do you want to live? Always, “Oh, I like this, I liked that, or I have so much to give. I would rather live with this mentality that I have so much to give. I’ll tell you, life is life of blessing 2017, my life will be good. Why? Because all the bad things happened already in Korean is called active. All the bad things, gone all the good things are waiting for me. 2017. Happy New Year. Happy New Year to me and happy birthday to me.
Have a great life. Life is short. Have a great life and great. His life is life of surfing. That’s why Jesus said I came not to be served, but to serve at a scene together.