Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day Thirteen: Service

The WORD of the Day:

"Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."  --Galatians 6:9

Let Me Give You a Lift:

There's no such thing as a Christian who is not a servant.  Powerful statement? Maybe, but it is true.  There are two ways that I know this to be true.  First, service is required by both of the two great commandments (love God, love people). They cannot be accomplished without acts in service either to God or our fellow man.  Second, we are to be Christ-like and Jesus served others.  The Book of John gives us the account of a story that we probably know pretty well: Jesus washing his disciples' feet.  In the near-eastern tradition feet washing was among the lowliest of servant jobs because, frankly, people's feet got pretty disgusting walking around the desert in sandals.  So it caused quite a stir when, at the Last Supper, Jesus did that job.  Some disciples (including the ever-outspoken Peter) only let him do it after considerable convincing. When he was finished washing everyone's feet, Jesus said this:
Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
Jesus' message was clear: I am your example, and I am a servant.  Now, I said this was a second reason why I believe there's no such thing as a Christian who is not a servant. Really, it is more accurate to say that this is the single best example of why my first statement is true.  If we love God, we love people as He does. And if we love people, then we cannot help but help reach out.

So what does servant-hood look like for us?  Is it Mother Teresa? Sure, but in the everyday sense, I think of it as taking the opportunities. Someone needs help with groceries? Helping is being a servant.  Someone is short fifty cents in the Starbucks line? Offering spare change is being a servant. Visiting shut-ins, volunteering, being a good neighbor, talking to someone when you see they are hurting--there are a thousand examples, and they all boil down to making things just a little bit easier for the people in our own spheres who need a hand.

Why is this so important? Well, it's like my preacher said this morning: 'When we give, we look like Jesus.'  I think that's especially true when we are giving of ourselves. And, like we talked about yesterday, when we are doing good works, it is God who gets the glory.  Can you imagine God's joy when his children are trying to look like Jesus?

Let's take the opportunities. How different the world would look if everyone did!

Give it a Listen:

Today's song it by Brandon Heath, and it is called “Jesus in Disguise.” The idea behind this song is that often God is at work in this world, but it is so subtle that we don't even notice it. This song was kind of a light bulb moment for me because some of the things Brandon sings about are things I've been noticing lately too.  Like how sometimes we are compelled to do something (or not do something), or take a path (or not take a path), and we aren't sure why.  I love a line toward the end that says "open my eyes wide as I can, blind as I am."  He's asking for God's help in being attentive, in being aware of God in this world, of help noticing his handiwork all around us.

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