President Trump sucessfully ran for president using the slogan: “Make America Great Again.” I think this idea of recapturing something that has been lost in America struck a chord with many people. It remains to be seen if President Trump is actually able to do what he has promised in his campaign, but there is no doubt that many people are longing for renewal in America. Just as many people have seen the need for a season of renewal in America, a number of people including myself, have seen the need for renewal and revival here at Bethel. But what makes a country great will not translate to what it takes to make our church great. This is because God has a way of working that is completely contrary to our human reason and understanding. In Matthew 20:20-28, the mother of the Apostles James and John came to Jesus asking to make her sons great in Jesus’ future kingdom. Jesus’ response to her tells us a lot about greatness in God’s kingdom. Jesus said, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave.” That is an incredible statement which is completely contrary to our human understanding of greatness. To be great in God’s kingdom is not to be powerful and domineering. Instead to be truly great in God’s kindgom we need to humble ourselves as a servant or slave. A servant looks to the needs of the one he is serving before his own needs. A sevant doesn’t seek his own way or his own plan, but submits to the will of his master. One of two things will happen to a church that seeks greatness according the world’s methods of becoming great. First they will actually achieve great success in their plans, but they will end up being shallow and hollow shells of what God desires for his church to truly look like. The second outcome for a chruch who seeks to live according to a worldly understanding of greatness is that they will fall apart at the seams as a result of power struggles, infighting, and forced submission to the authorities. In God’s kingdom, greatness comes through humble submission to one another. When a Chruch is filled with individuals who are not self-focused and self-serving the body begins to truly become great. Jesus doesn’t just preach greatness in this way, he actually lived it out, giving us a perfect example of the loving servanthood he talked about. In verse 28, Jesus says, “Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus was the only one on the face of the earth who would actually be deserving of all glory, honor, and power, but he chose to become poor for us and give his life as a ransom for us, in order that we may be born again into his kingdom. God desires his church to be ambassadors of this message to the world. As we live in humble service and love toward one another, we will be truly great in the kingdom of God. This Christian love within the church, the body of Christ, is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. As Jesus said in John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” So as we look to bring renewal here at Bethel, let us make certain that we are continually about the business of loving and serving one another.