November 09, 2015

Let Us Serve

The topic of our Sunday school lesson was “serving” and the teacher encouraged us to follow the example of Jesus and serve one another. As I reflected on how I serve others I thought of the many times people stopped me in my tracks by trying to repackage my service. For example, if I offer to bring a vegetable dish to the potluck, but the organizer of the event says she would rather have me on clean-up duty. Or, if I volunteer to serve as an adult Sunday school teacher and someone tries to assign me to the nursery. It is curious that people think they can be in charge of directing another person’s service. Peter did something similar when Jesus began washing the disciple’s feet. “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me...I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:8, 15 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Nothing in this temporal world is completely good or completely bad, wholly true, or wholly false. Even that statement might not be completely true, because 2+2=3 is wholly false, unless, for the time of this example it truly expresses a falsehood. Ecclesiastes chapter three expresses this tone about our lives as: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill…to heal…time to mourn…to dance…to rend…to sew…to love…to hate…What gain has the worker from his toil? ” (Eccl 3:1-9) What gain should a worker have from his toil? All of it? Some of it? None of it? When we toil for the Lord, the gain is for the Lord. Then what difference does it make in what the toil is which we do for the Lord? Unless of course His pleasure is to share some of His gain with us (which His pleasure is.)
-----So, it makes quite some difference, if we are better at doing A than we are at doing B. But if someone else even more capable at doing A than are we is doing A, should we not do B? After all, is the toil not for the Lord, meaning the produce is for the Lord? Does that mean we should be interested in teaming up to produce the best for Him? I love a good potluck because I love good fried chicken, especially home fried chicken made by great chicken fryers. So, when I’m going to a potluck, I like to buy a bucket of Kicked Flicked Chicken, or a box of Chester’s chicken. Then I need to be towards the front of the line, because everyone else usually brings bean based casseroles and whipped cream Jell-O’s. Today’s potlucks demonstrate the mixed need for both some direction in its production and some individuality in each contributor’s efforts.
-----I get torqued, too, when I’m asked not to do what I think I do best and most like to do. But usually, that is for the short instant before torquing my head back on tighter. Often the people who direct activities are not Einsteins. We’ve seen many occasions wherein leaders have been sure they were, and then, have muffed things up terribly. Unless the occasion is really important, like putting a true American in the Oval Office, or not leading a church into partiality and group politics, then sometimes it is better to play obedient minion to the not too Einsteinie leaders and bring a few dishrags to the potluck instead of a bowl of beans. Later the work opf the Lord can be gently “educating” the leaders just a little bit (who, of course, are doggone sure they don’t need educated, that’s why they’re not Einsteins.) Sometimes you’re needed in the nursery because nobody else will do it. Other times you’re needed there because the organizer’s ego can’t handle anything else. This is where our true service to the Lord gets really individualized. For, when you must do the nursery for the sake of the organizer’s ego, the Lord might be calling you to do some gentle diplomacy as well. There is a time and a season for everything under the sun.

Love you all,
Steve Corey