"Walking in Love of Service”
Today, we have just entered into a new phase in the history of our church. We have our land, and now we are occupying it. What a blessing! What joy!
Today, we will continue to write on the open book of our history the kind of people we are, and the church that we are becoming. Who are we? What is our identity? Are we still as a child, speaking like a child, understanding like a child, thinking like a child? Or have we become a man, putting away childish things? Are we maturing to the full stature of our Christ, Whom we profess to be our Lord and Savior? Is He, honestly and truly, our Lord? Or have we made worthless images of men to be our God?
As we come to occupy our new church building, going up the cemented steps to the sanctuary, we are also ascending to greater responsibility and to greater judgment. These twin sisters, responsibility and judgment, are our crucible: “And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My Name, and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” (Zech. 13:9)
The call is out—LEVEL UP! ASCEND TO NOBILITY OF SPIRIT!
This is the time to level up in our behavior as God’s people. Have we truly clothed ourselves with love … with charity of spirit that is so evident in the conduct of our lives and in our service to others? How do we behave when people are not looking? How do we treat every person in the church … in the community?
Service is a significant and striking expression of our humanity. The more we serve, the more human we become. The more human we become, the more we desire to serve … and the closer we are to God in His image. The farther we are from God, the less human we become. The less human we become, the less we serve … and the less of God we are.
I am not talking here of service such as when a soldier goes off to battle to defend the citizens of his country, or the repair person coming to a home to fix a broken appliance. I speak here of service that is done in seemingly small, insignificant but practical, everyday gestures or acts of kindness, courtesy, and respect. Gestures like opening the door for the person following after you, offering your seat for an elderly, greeting everyone with a “good morning” or a “good afternoon,” not stepping on the toilet seat, disposing of our trash properly, leaving our environment in order, returning things to their proper places, paying back the person who lent you money, and the list goes on.
To paraphrase a quote from English writer Samuel Johnson, in relation to the effect of our service to others: "We cannot tell the precise moment when [our witness] is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of [kindnesses, courtesies, and respect], there is at last one which makes the heart run over [with gladness], [and our witness is formed and effected]."
This is how we win a person over to Christ, not with words but in a series of small, consistent service of kindness, courtesy, and respect. This is how we begin to affect our community around us as we ascend and occupy the land.