“I call The Butt!” is a familiar refrain at our house. “The Butt” is the seat at the end of our 9-foot dinner table opposite “the head,” where I normally sit. We have Young Life leaders and teenagers over at our house for dinner every week, and somebody invariably calls out that they want to sit at “The Butt.” It started as a joke a couple of years ago, and now that seat is strangely a seat of honor. This silly tradition reminds me of something Jesus said:
Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves. Luke 22:26-27 (NLT)
Jesus came to earth as our King and Creator over 2000 years ago, the event we celebrate during the Christmas season. And when the King came, he served. He served through listening, teaching, healing, and ultimately he served us by dying on the cross. Jesus came to us with the highest rank, yet lived among us as one with the lowest rank. To know Jesus and to follow his leadership is the sum of all the hope that Christmas offers. “I call The Butt!” is the call of a servant leader.
Last Monday evening, in a barn in Burnt Hills, I stood in front of forty teenagers with a New Testament in my hands. We had just finished “Spam-sculpting” and singing. It was my turn to share with these young people about the greatness of Jesus, and about his unique love for them. That moment, and thousands more like it at Young Life clubs around the world, were made possible by teams of servant leaders who give time and treasure to make Young Life possible in their community. By serving teenagers, these teams yell to the world, “I call the Butt!” And Jesus is glorified in them.