"Would you please schedule me to speak at the meeting where you expect the lowest attendance?"
Continuing the live updates from the Good News Weekend in Loma Linda, we bring you Randy Roberts, senior pastor of the Loma Linda University Church with a hard-hitting message of the radical servanthood of God-made-flesh.
As a culture, Roberts says, we're a people always looking for a way up. We praise the winsome, lovely and prominent among us - those on the way up. We want a winsome, lovely savior, an image of Jesus that is "up the ladder."
A speaker calling up a small congregation asked to be booked to speak there. "I'll bring in crowds, said the speaker. I'll be good for attendance." It's a real story, Roberts says, but imagine a speaker who asked to be booked when attendance was expected to be lowest. Imagine a speaker who says, "Would you schedule me at the meeting you expect the fewest people?"
That's the God we're dealing with, Roberts says. While Lucifer says "up, up, up the ladder," Jesus took on the nature of a servant, didn't grasp at power and made himself nothing.
Roberts tells another story of a store in which the down escalator has been removed. A man, wanting to go down asks an attendant for the down escalator. The attendant explains that nobody really used it, so it was removed. If the man would like to go down, he will have to walk down the "up" escalator. Against the flow of traffic and the movement of the escalator.
"There was a man," says the attendant, "who went down the up escalator once. Against the flow, against nature, against the current. Follow his steps."
The central act in the drama of salvation is an act of humble service, Roberts says.
He relates another story that he actaully witnessed. A man approached a shoe-shiner and asked to shine the shiner's shoes. He polished the shiner's scuffed shoes. He gave the shoe-shiner a $100 tip, and left without a word.
In that event, Roberts says, he learned an awful lot about Jesus. For a world ruptured by a Great Controversy, the world needs a glimpse of such a Jesus because that image of humble servanthood is a glimpse into the very heart of God!
Now THAT is a sermon!
Later this afternoon, we'll be bringing you live updates from Desmond Ford's presentation and hopefully some video interviews as well.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/939