Jesus died for our sins. Once and for all He redeemed us from that path leading to eternal destruction to instead, offer us eternal life. This is something that we could not do for ourselves or for anyone else.
For those of us who have been called and gathered by the Holy Spirit into God’s promise of salvation through Christ alone and have trusted in that promise, we live with this eternal assurance amidst all the struggles and doubts we face.
Our life though, is not about sitting around and waiting for God’s promises in Christ to be fulfilled. Jesus has also taught us how to live in the midst of this assurance and waiting.
The life we are called to live is evident in every year of Christ’s recorded life on earth. Without compromise, Jesus was a servant and He taught His disciples how to serve others. His entire purpose for coming to this lost earth was to serve. Whether you believe it or not, whether you praise Him or ignore Him or curse Him, He came to serve you.
At the age of 12 His parents were concerned that they could not find him during a trip to town. Jesus said to His parents (Luke 2:49), “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” It was here that Jesus was already serving by teaching others.
Later on He would walk about the earth under the direction of His Father and moved by compassion He would heal the sick, raise the dead, bring sight to the blind and finally go to the cross for all.
So how many Christians are servants? Statistics show that 44% of Canadians over the age of 15 have volunteered in some act of service. About 67% of all Canadians claim to be affiliated with Christianity. Some statistics show that only 10-25% of these attend worship on any given Sunday to receive the service of our Lord through Word and Sacrament. In our congregation about 38% of adults have performed at least one act of service through the church this past year.
Someone once noted that the church of God is made up of two types of people; those who come to be served and those who serve. Most of us who know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior first came to the church to be served. We were sick, desperate, lonely, addicted, tired, or lost. The church has had many servants and so we were served by Christ through them. We were given the Truth and the Truth set us free.
I believe that it is the calling of the church to teach those who have been served how to be servants of Christ – followers of Jesus. Paul called himself a bondservant of Christ (1 Corinthians 7:22). How many of us who have received the gift of salvation through the service of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection consider ourselves bondservants?
In Mathew 10:8 Jesus tells His disciples, Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.
My brothers and sisters in Christ we have a calling to serve others in the name of Jesus, following the example of our Lord and Saviour Jesus who said, Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you (John 13:14-15).
This week, two incredible examples of Christian servanthood will be remembered in death. One is my brother in Christ, Kris in Winnipeg and the other is my sister in Christ, Sharon in Ponoka. I pray that the Holy Spirit will raise up more servants like them – people of faith who follow Jesus in a life of service because they have been served by His life, death and resurrection.
So what’s standing in your way of being a servant and follower of Jesus Christ this year? I pray that the Holy Spirit will so move you from sitting or standing with assurance to walking and running with the assurance of Christ.