Servants of the Servant
Pastor's Monthly Newsletter Article for September, 2014 “At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by, "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.” [Mother Teresa]
On September 28th, I invite you to join us for our second “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday. During our Sunday morning worship services we will enjoy the shortest sermon of the year, offer our prayers for the needs of the world, experience the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament of Holy Communion, and receive the blessing of God as we are sent “to serve communities in ways that share the love of God with all of God’s people.”
On October 3rd-4th, I invite you to join us for our annual Fall Retreat for Spiritual Renewal. During this day-and-a-half gathering we will explore God’s call for us to live in this world as servants; striving to care for others as Christ has cared for us.
The life of service to others is a central component of Christian discipleship. I am convinced that a Christian congregation has no future until it discovers a purpose outside of itself. In fact, to be a Christian is to experience the grace of God in a way that sets us free to give our lives in service to the world. This is why, at Saint Peter, our third Habit of Discipleship is to be involved in some act of community service at least once every month. Every one of us. Every month.
We live in a world where those who have servants – those who are served – are admired by many. But we have been graced by a Lord who said to his disciples (when James and John were looking for places of honor in his kingdom), “…whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” [St. Mark 20:43-45] This may seem counter-intuitive, but it is the key to living a life with meaning and purpose. As we begin to give of ourselves to others, we begin to discover the life Christ wants us to know. A life where we see the face of Christ in our neighbor. A life where God’s spirit shapes and inspires our living.
The life of service to others is a central component of Christian discipleship. I am excited about how the people of Saint Peter will live this out together on Sunday, September 28th, and how we will deepen and broaden our understanding of what this means on October 3rd and 4th. I hope you will make every effort to join us. Through our service to the world around us, may others come to know the grace of God that inspires us and the love of Christ that empowers us. This is our faithful witness
God’s peace to you all,