Heads and Tails

August 15, 2011

If you’re a Korean christian, you’ve no doubt heard this phrase being prayed in Korean: “Let us be the head and not the tail.”  Like a lot of Korean words I hear, I mostly let it drift over my head. But when I tried to make sense of what is actually being said, I really could not make heads or tails of it.  (yes, pun totally intended).  How does it make any sense to pray this?  Where is this in the Bible?  And what was the context?  I really can’t recall where or whether this phrase is from the Bible, but I do know John 13.

1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

I really don’t know where in the Bible it talks about leading the congregation according to the latest business models and techniques.  When I think about the meaning of the Gospel, I really can’t reconcile it with wanting to be at the top, at the front, and being the head.  That is not what it means to love others.  If you wish to be the greatest, you must be the least.  This is at the very center of the meaning of the universe; in order to save your life you must lose it; the Son of Man came to serve and not to be served.

I am pretty sure that the most radiant of saints in heavens will be someone who no one has talked about on earth, those who have lead others to Christ and not to themselves, those who strove to be the tail and not the head.

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