Friday, July 24, 2009

Simply Serve; Serve Simply

"Simply serve; serve simply" is our little catch phrase for the summer and as each week passes it seems to take on a whole new look in my life.
Each week I discuss with my groups how to take the lessons they have learned here home with them. When we first start looking at how to love and serve outside an environment that fosters that attitude it seems like a daunting task.
Enter Matthew 25.
34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Yup. It is a huge task to go and serve in our hometowns. It is a huge task to create in us a lifestyle of service and love. It is a huge task to be the image of the invisible to people. It is a huge task to be the aroma of Christ. It is a huge task to take care of the poor, the poor in spirit, the hungry and the needy.
But He makes it clear that we are called to do unto the least of these as we would do unto Him. He makes it clear how to do that. If we see someone hungry we should feed them. If someone needs clothes we clothe them. I love how in this passage He takes a huge task and simply tells us how to take care of it. He doesn't tell us what feeding the poor and clothing the naked and visiting the sick and incarcerated looks like in our hometowns. That he leaves up to us to figure out how that plays out. But He clearly tells us to simply serve and that serving can be simple.
I like that.
It leaves room for you and I to be creative in how we meet these needs. It gives us a clear outline of what is expected of us though. And it reminds us that in all we do that we are doing it unto God. That every time we meet the needs of others it is like we are meeting a need of God and each time we ignore the needs of others we are ignoring His needs.
It really can be simple.
So as I begin to think about returning to school I have to start thinking how this summer will go with me and how I will continue what God has started here. I challenge you with the same task: to find a way to serve where you are. Who are the least of these in your town or life? How will you meet the needs of God through them? Or will you be a goat...
-Jody Glazner, CSM Nashville Summer 2009 City Host

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