This summer, I spent much of my time outdoors, reflecting on scripture. Lately, I have been drawn to John 13:16, a verse about servanthood. The more I reflected on God’s words, the more apparent it became how relevant the verse is, especially for the students of Columbia International University. This year at CIU, I welcomed the students with the following words: 

 

Truly, truly, I say to you, the servant is not greater than his Lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. John 13:16

 

I called upon the faculty and students alike of Columbia International University to spend time pondering these words describing the idea of servanthood. As Christ demonstrated humility by washing the feet of His disciples, students must also embrace acting as a humble servant during their time at CIU and beyond. Jesus spent His final night, during the Last Supper, showing His followers His love and service for them. In giving Himself to those that He loved, He was setting an example for His disciples to mimic. 

Even as Jesus knew His final hour was upon Him, He chose to demonstrate love to those in this world until the end by washing the feet of his disciples. When His disciples abstained from His gesture, He assured them that it was within His call for them to act as He did. If even the Son of God Himself descends to perform such menial acts, so should His servants.  

 

Unless I wash you, you have no part with me. John 13:8

 

The students of CIU should learn to serve each other, much as Jesus did His disciples. I am always impressed by the students of CIU. These talented individuals have the potential to become leaders of this world and find success in all of their endeavors. As they pursue such lofty goals, however, they should always remember the Lord’s lessons from His final earthly hours. 

Emulating Jesus through our actions is an opportunity we are fortunate to come by. The ability to have the Lord work through us is nothing less than an enormous privilege this world has to offer. Christians should not find glory in themselves, but instead, pursue humility as the Lord uses us to spread His Gospel message of sacrifice, reconciliation, and servanthood to others. Is this not the true spirit of Christianity? 

This upcoming school year, I am challenging the students and staff of Columbia International University to seek out opportunities to perform acts of service actively. During Jesus’ last days on earth, the disciples did not understand His actions, but Jesus assured them that all would become clear later. His great message did become apparent, and He will bless the efforts of those who seek to live out servanthood as Jesus did.