Wed, Jul 15, 2015
But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28 ESV).
During this month of July, the LCMS is focusing on service. There are so many opportunities to serve our neighbors all around us. From the simple to the large-scale, people are in need of a helping hand. The LCMS has so many structures in place for large scale needs like natural disasters and other tragedies. On an individual level, we all know people around us who could use a listening ear, a meal or help paying the bills this month.
Internationally, there are opportunities to serve on short-term teams all over the world. Here in Eurasia, we need volunteers to help with English Bible Camps every summer. By serving on a short-term team, members of the LCMS are able to be of help to their neighbors abroad by proclaiming the Gospel through teaching the English language and fun activities for children.
As we think about service, it is easy to find a roadblock. Sometimes we cower as the Law points its finger at us and shouts, “GO and DO! Get off your duff. You had better earn your keep.” We may feel like we are inadequate to the task. Sometimes, we are preoccupied with how others can serve us, instead of thinking about how we can serve others.
That is where Jesus comes in to remind us that we are servants who have been served. We are those who have been served by the humblest and most giving Servant of all, Christ Himself. The Lord Jesus serves us with the sacrifice of His life, trading His righteousness for our sinfulness. His servanthood to us and to the world transforms us into servants who only serve because He serves in and through us to help a world of people in need from the day-to-day things to the big things. Jesus came not to be served, but to serve us. He serves us through Word and Sacrament and through our neighbors. We, too, serve. We serve because He first served us.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus Christ, we give thanks to You for Your loving service to us; work in and through us so that we may serve our neighbors in need in both body and soul; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.