Pastor's Blog

Will you SERVE with Jesus?

Who wants to serve?

I’ve met plenty of people who will serve when circumstances require it.

I’ve met some people who serve gladly whenever and wherever needed. Given the occasion, these people may even seek out the low-profile roles of service.

I just don’t know if I’ve ever met a person who truly wants to serve in the way that … say … a bird wants to fly or a fish wants to swim.

Never met a person for whom serving was all of life and all of identity.

 

Yet Jesus came as the Servant of God. Jesus came … to serve.

  • Jesus had an agenda, but it was not His own.
  • Jesus had words to say and deeds to do, but they were not His own.
  • Jesus even had a life to live, but it was not His own life to live.

Jesus lived His life from a deep well-spring of service. Paradoxically, at least to our eyes, the servant-nature of Jesus conferred upon Him a great authority. Of course, as God-the-Son, Jesus already had authority.

Jesus wanted to serve. As God’s Servant, Jesus was the freest man who ever lived.

Will you serve with Jesus? Can you learn to WANT to serve with Jesus?

Our next sermon series begins January 6 and will explore what it means to serve with Jesus.

Posted by Tim Alexander with

Shepherds' Joy

Shepherds smelled, well, like sheep. Not the fluffy sheep smell associated with Woolite Original Scent after a gentle clothes line airing out on a spring day.

Nope. The shepherds’ ’sheep smell’ was ripe. Detectable in an open field from 10 feet. There was no bathing. Dental hygiene was a foreign concept. One set of clothes, years old. Layers of sweat and dust, reactivated every day. Shepherds regularly spent weeks with their sheep, moving them from place to place, sometimes walking miles in a day, sleeping among them during the night. They developed a close bond with their flock which was returned by an almost instinctive trust.

They were often excluded from community. They were thought untrustworthy, even to the point of not being allowed to give legal testimony. How could such men be trusted? They chose to live with sheep rather than live with people. Few had families.  Unattached. Unstable. And they smelled bad!

The lowest of the low received the shock of Godly attention. Not just attention: extravagance! One angelic visitation is one more visitation than billions and billions of people will ever receive. That was stunning enough! To have the heavens filled with “a multitude of the heavenly hosts” is undiluted extravagance! Initially, their reaction was one of “great fear.”

Think, prior to this instant, of the small events which may have passed for ‘joy’ in the life of the lowly shepherd. Fighting off a wolf. A patch of fresh grass. A trickle of water. A lamb born without incident and a ewe capable to suckle. The shepherd’s life was defined at the boundaries by the smallest joys.

But not on that night. They were a bewildered audience to a heavenly performance. Recipients of staggering, salvific tidings, for themselves and “for all people.” And … a baby in a manger? A manger?

On that night great fear was vacated by joyful praise! They were joyful to find the baby in the manger! They bore “good news of great joy”! Joyful to, for once in their life, be on the inside of God’s Work in the world! The angels came to them! They were smelly shepherds; always the overlooked ones. But not on that night.

They were first in line.

 

Posted by Tim Alexander with

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