When I think about my childhood, one of the first things I remember is neighborhood hide-n-seek. The second thing is serving with my mom. A game is reasonable; children love games, of course I remember something I did every night of the summer for years. Serving is different though. I honestly remember times when I thought it was terrible. It smelled funny, it was hot, the old people asked me too many questions, but even still, it’s one of my most prominent memories.
Why is that? I think it is because it’s what I was created for. Maybe as a child I never made that connection or understood the need I had to serve others, but it was there. I love the part in Matthew chapter 25* where Jesus is telling the disciples this story about all the times they fed Him, and clothed Him, and encouraged Him while He was experiencing trials, and the righteous get confused because they don’t remember serving Him in any of those ways. Then He tells them (as if it’s something so obvious), ‘don’t you know by serving even the least of society, you have served me?!’.
Our motivation should be obvious. As believers in, and followers of Christ, we serve because we know whom we are serving; it’s our personal need that I think we often misunderstand. When I’m not doing anything for anyone else—not encouraging in words, not loving in deeds, not reaching out in truth—I feel incomplete. Part of me feels like there’s something more, and there is. There always is.
Serving, for me, has made all the difference in my walk as a believer because it not only gives me ways to practically put into action the things that I have learned and am learning through the Word and spiritual leaders, but it also gives me a chance to experience and see the Lord in ways I think I would otherwise miss. Serving has shown me tangibly what God’s love looks like; it has shown me the transformative powers that caring about what others (sometimes strangers, even) care about has; it has allowed me to see the beauty of a God who dwells in community.
I serve because we are called, as James says, to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22-25), but I love serving because through it, I see the Lord with more clarity.
Fortunately for me (and all of you too!) there’s a great opportunity coming up at RHCC to serve in numerous capacities. On September 24th we’re having a church-wide Saturday Serve event, and since there are several different sites and several kid-friendly options, there’s no reason that we can’t all get out there and be a part of God’s working in our community!
* 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[f] you did it to me.’
Written by Jenna Sanders, Missions Intern
Posted in Missions, Saturday ServeTags: Community, Service | by Matt Robertson No Comments