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February 4, 2014

What does a French candlestick know about serving?

So what does a French candlestick know about serving? I’m glad you asked. Recently, my favorite Disney movie, “The Beauty and the Beast” was on repeat in my home this past weekend. My adorably independent three-year-old daughter discovered how to operate our DVD player. Lovely. (Discussion about how much my daughter watches TV is for another time) All weekend I found myself singing, “Be. Our. Guest. Be our guest put our service to the test, Tie your napkin ‘round your neck, Cherie, and we’ll provide the rest…” in the most delightful Oklahoman-French accent, as if I were the female version of Lumiere, the French candlestick. Much like the movie on repeat so was this song. I found myself singing while I took out the trash, did the laundry and washed dishes. There I was putting in a new trash bag in the trashcan, when this line popped in my head, “Life is so unnerving to a server who’s not serving.”  I simply thought, “It is, isn’t it.” I love when God speaks in the midst of everyday life through simple songs sung by inanimate objects. I began to think deeper into what the Lord was trying to teach me in that moment. He wasn’t speaking about a server in a white shirt with black coat tails and bowtie. He was speaking about us, His children. His followers. His servers.

A server who isn’t serving is unsettled, anxious and discontented. They are not able to live the life they have been called to do. They are in this place of uncertainty because their hearts are restless. You may not think that serving could cause all these detachments in your walk with God but think again. Matthew says that Jesus “did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Matthew 20:28). This was His purpose. Jesus lived a life of servanthood. It was not just a piece or a part of His life. Serving was His life and He lived it daily through His words and actions. Jesus demonstrated the life that God intended us to live, not in our flesh, but through His power for His glory. 1 Peter 10:11 says, “so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and power for ever and ever.”  We serve others so that God may be praised. So that we may bring Him glory, and that we, too, can demonstrate the love, grace and power of our Heavenly Father.

In the song, “Be Our Guest”, Lumiere, the French candlestick, is singing to Belle, their guest of honor. He is conveying to her how much he and his fellow enchanted household objects miss serving. How much they love to take care of people. What’s funny, rather not laughter out loud but ironically, is that an inanimate object is lifeless, dead and inactive. Despite Lumiere dancing and singing, he is lifeless. He wants nothing more than to live the life he was intended live. Lumiere could not transform until someone came to save him and the others. A lifeless, dead, unresponsive candlestick was created for so much more than providing dim lighting. Life becomes so much more when you begin to live in your purpose as God’s server. Allow God to fulfill and calm your restless heart and start living a servant-minded life, just like Jesus.

Written by Tehia Worley, Associate Norman Campus Pastor