Refreshing, mind-blowing, heart-lifting service always does this! Authentic Ministry, Part 3

IMG_9519

12When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16Truly, truly, I say to you, a servantis not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. John 13:12-17

There’s nothing like the frustration and exasperation that fills the soul when you know you are living in a customer service nightmare. I hate it when I know I have become just one more beast in the line-up. The company refuses to meet me.

But you and I can do the same thing to people we actually love. Everyday we are tasked with the regular and mundane events of serving people in our homes, schools, and workplaces. How can that moment become something refreshing? How can those regular moments be turned into something Jesus would call a blessing?

Meet the person. Don’t just fill the need. Meet the person. We are in danger of creating our own dignity stripping hell when we just meet the need. Don’t meet needs. Meet the person.

Foot washing is personal. Feet are sensitive. Jesus has given us an example in which we can take the usual tasks of our day and humbly look up to a person and meet them as a precious treasure. In those moments we are positioning them as fantastic people worthy of Jesus’ very life and our interest.

No matter what you do next, refreshing, mind-blowing, heart-lifting service always begins by meeting the person.

You are not dispensable.

12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14For the body does not consist of one member but of many.

21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
I Corinthians 12:12-14, 21-27

 

You are not dispensable. Jesus poured out His life at the cross that you might be joined with Him in His body, the Church. He does see you, the individual. He has declared His love to you and brought you into His body. You have joined Him in mission. You are not “throw-away” material.

 

We enter into our part to play, our contribution, through the same means that Christ Jesus did, through service. As we serve with our eyes open to Him, God will lead us into the good work created in advance for us (Ephesians 2:10).

 

There is an oft maligned context for our service too, the church. In the context of the church’s life (hear relationships to each other), testimony, worship and work we each have a contribution to make. And we are indispensable. The blessings that God would pour out on others through the church exponentially increased as each member, no matter how “great” or “small,” mature in Him, realize their need for the other, and serve.

 

You are not dispensable. Sometimes we might be tempted into thinking, “Oh the Church doesn’t really need me.” That would be a misappropriation of the idea that “we are not indispensable.” Today we can enter into what God is doing in the world by consciously serving with His church scattered across our communities and cities.