Nudged by the Spirit, we may notice, for the first time, the thirsty gardener who tends to the lawn on the campus of our workplace. Or when we go Christmas caroling at a local nursing home we might see, as if for the first time, those who are captive to debilitating circumstance. Or the Spirit opens our eyes to the young woman with an intellectual disability who bags our groceries every week, now waiting in the rain for a bus. The surprise of kingdom service is that God opens our eyes so that we notice folks in the daily rhythm of our lives that we've just never seen before.
What Does Kingdom Service Look Like?
Although Jesus' act of self-giving love on the cross—admittedly a big thing—is the pattern into which each of us is called, the way the pattern is fleshed out in our everyday lives is meant to be small. Again and again in the Gospels Jesus invites his followers to embrace small acts of love. Really wanting his friends to understand this, he made it plain.
One night at the end of his life, when Jesus' friends saw him take off his robe and wrap a towel around his waist, they were floored. After all, the nasty job of washing guests' stinky, dusty feet was a servant's job. It was low. And he was the Master, after all! Having washed their feet, putting his teacher clothes back on, Jesus explained, "Since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet" (John 13:14).