To Be Of Service
You, my siblings, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Lately I’ve been thinking about what we do in response to God’s love. Once we internalize that God’s love, grace, presence and care for us is limitless, what do we do in response? Coming to worship is one good response. However, without action and service in the world, we risk being in a two party relationship between us and God. I think that the key to walking the walk in the Christian life is expanding our relationship with God to include other people.
Tony Robbins talks about learning that leads to knowledge being less useful than learning that leads to action. Where knowledge may just sit cataloged in our minds forever-- action is learning put into motion, put out into the world. I think that’s how it is with our relationship to God. When we know that God loves us and empowers us, we can choose to store that knowledge in our minds. Or, we can choose to use that knowledge as fuel in our service to others.
I recall learning about service to others as a child. The church I grew up in was not far from the Mexican border. Twice a year we raised funds and went to Tijuana to build homes for unhoused families. Side by side, members of our church would frame walls and paint doors with the family we were serving. One time I was rolling paint onto a door next to a young man who would be living in the house we were constructing. Though we did not share the same language, culture, economic backgrounds, or nation, we united over our shared activity of painting. Sometimes there was awkward silence, and other-times messy attempts at translating. In the midst of it all, we were connecting and forging relationship across borders. As a church, as much as we were building houses we were building and maintaining relationships with these families. Hands on service is relational, and messy. It’s not sterile and it forces us to humanize people we might not otherwise meet. Service forces us to focus outside of ourselves and onto God’s people. Service helps us to get out of the two-party relational loop and move into an understanding of God, us, and all people as being in relationship.
I appreciate that at Wellesley Village Church we have opportunities to be of service to people in hands-on ways. As you consider how you might serve people in the days to come, check out the remaining Summer of Service opportunities here.
Holy God, We thank you for the times in which we can be of service to others. Open our eyes so that we may see where you are calling us to serve. Open our hearts so that we may respond to your love by loving one another. Amen.