In recent years have you noticed something missing in political campaign speeches? Candidates invariably talk about family values, concern for the elderly, education and poverty. They make extravagant promises, assuring well being, if not prosperity, for essentially everybody. These campaigns of promise-making aim almost exclusively at our wants and desires. What is often missing is a call to service.
“And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” This famous quote for the inauguration of John Kennedy echoed similar words from Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1884. “We pause to recall what our country has done for each of us and to ask ourselves what we can do for our country in return.” Such challenges are seldom heard in political speeches that promise everything and ask for nothing but a vote. You have to be suspicious, because even our gracious God is not all promise! What should concern us most is the likelihood that such speeches merely reflect the culture to which they are appealing for support.
When the only question is, “What’s in it for me?” aren’t we suffering from arrested development spiritually? Jesus pointed his eager disciples away from the immaturity of “It’s all about me, my possessions and the clutter in my life” toward the maturity of the person who has developed a heart to serve.
- Deacon Robert