What does it mean to be great? It depends on who you ask of course.
There is greatness in battle. There’s greatness in art. There’s greatness in business.
Here in the US, we have one candidate whose slogan is to “Make America Great Again.” But what he means by that is anyone’s guess. If it’s anything close to the way he’s campaigning, then I it doesn’t sound all that great to me.
Is greatness all about strength? Does greatness mean having the ability to totally crush anyone who gets in your way? Is greatness all about power?
Or is greatness something else? Is greatness restraint when response could be justified? Is greatness silence, when answers could be provided? Is greatness compassion? How about grace and love? How about forgiving those who don’t deserve forgiveness?
Is greatness not just a willingness, but actually dying in place of others?
On this Maundy Thursday, I can’t help but think about greatness. For Christians, this day begins the most holy three days of the year. By the world’s standards, they are anything but great. But for Christians they are great days — they start off painful and uncomfortable, but end with joy. They are full of greatness — great examples of how to live, great examples of how great Jesus is. But more importantly, they show the great lengths that Jesus goes to express God’s greatness — a greatness the world rejects, but is given to each of us as a gift.
Want to make America (or anywhere else for that matter) great again? Here’s how you start — do things out of gratefulness because of what was done for you. You’ll know what to do after that.