By Rep. Mike Sanders
There’s a popular Christian song with the title “A Strange Way to Save the World.” It’s written from the perspective of Joseph as he beholds the Christ child lying in the manger in Bethlehem.
He asks himself,
“Why me? I’m just a simple man of trade.
Why Him, with all the rulers in the world?
Why here inside this stable filled with hay?
Why her? She’s just an ordinary girl.
Now I’m not one to second guess what angels have to say,
But this is such a strange way to save the world.”
I think about the humility of Christ’s birth. No room in any inn, our savior was born in a manger. No crib in which to lay him, he was laid in an animal feeding trough filled with rough hay. No proper clothing, he was wrapped in strips of cloth. No world leaders or paparazzi waiting for the moment of his birth to report it in all of the tabloids. Angels instead heralded the news to lowly shepherds tending their flocks in fields during the night.
Later, in Christ’s ministry, his disciples would argue over who among them was the greatest. Jesus took a young child and set him in their midst telling them that whoever receives a child such as this receives Him and receives the Father who sent Him.
“For he that is least among you all, the same shall be great,” Jesus said.
It’s this humility that strikes me this season.
As someone who has served in leadership positions among state lawmakers and even at the national level, the humble path is not often promoted as the way to achieve greatness. And yet Christ showed us such a different way. In fact, one of his disciples urged him to call fire down from heaven on an occasion when he was rejected. Jesus rebuked such talk, saying instead that He did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.
I ponder such humility as I consider those who choose to serve us in so many ways – whether by fighting fires on our behalf, or policing our communities or patrolling our state highways, or serving in our national defense, or teaching our children, or providing health and mental health care, or building and repairing our roads and bridges and so much more. They don’t seek greatness. Instead they seek to serve. I’m thankful for each of them and such humble service.
I’m thankful as well for my family, my wife Nellie and our two boys, Davis and Walker. So many times they choose the humble road while I ride off to attend what seems at the time like pressing matters of state. I believe what I do for our district and our state is important; it matters. I hope I am making a difference in my short time here on this earth; that I am improving the quality of life for my family, my neighbors, my friends, my fellow Oklahomans. But at the end of the day, it is Christ’s example that draws me to my knees.
What a beautiful way to save the world.
Merry Christmas to all who live in House District 59. Happy New Year as well.
As always, I can be reached at (405) 557-7407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.