One of my favorite movies is Beauty and the Beast.  I’m not ashamed to admit it. What can I say?  I’m a sucker for the Disney classics.  I mean, there is comedy, drama, danger, battle, enthusiasm for books (I’m a huge book enthusiast!), and love.  My favorite character in the movie is hands down, Lumiere.  He’s suave, brave, talented, and funny.  Or, in other words, everything that I wish I could be.  In his signature song, “Be our Guest,” he sings- and you have to read this with a French accent-, “Life is so unnerving, for a servant who’s not serving.”  Serving, for Lumiere, was not just something he did.  Serving was part of who he was.  And so, since he wasn’t serving, he had lost a sense of the purpose that his identity gave him.

This gives me another reason to love Lumiere; apparently, he’s a theologian!  One of the primary ways that Christians identified themselves in the New Testaments is “servant.”  Here are some examples:

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus (Rom 1:1 ESV)

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus (Phi 1:1 ESV)

Epaphras our beloved fellow servant (Col 1:7 ESV)

James, a servant of God  (Jam 1:1 ESV)

Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ (2Pe 1:1 ESV)

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ (Jud 1:1 ESV)

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John (Rev 1:1 ESV)

Time after time, we see people identifying themselves as servants.  This makes sense because to be a Christian means to make a commitment to follow Jesus as Lord.  If Jesus is Lord, then his followers are servants of the Lord.  Serving is not merely something Christians do.  Serving is meant to be a fundamental part of how we understand our identity as followers of Jesus and, therefore, a fundamental purpose that we have in life.  And so, serving the Lord is an important part of thriving in our spiritual life.  Life, for the Christian, should be unnerving if we are servants who are not serving.  Because serving others in the name of Christ, is meant to give us purpose and meaning.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • How are you serving people in your neighborhood? (block cleanups, taking out the trash, sweeping leaves, shoveling snow, lending a hand, etc.…?)
  • How are you serving in your community? (Tree planting, community garden tending, park cleanups, PTA groups, library volunteers, etc.…?)
  • How are you serving in the local church?
    • When an event happens, do you volunteer to help?
    • The Sunday Worship Service is the most important thing we do as a church, and so, are you serving regularly to make that gathering possible? (regular is left up to people’s own interpretation, but a healthy rhythm seems to be twice per month, or now that we have two services, serve one service and attend the other service)

Spiritual growth comes through learning more and more about who we are in Christ and then putting that identity into action.  God has great things in store for us as we embrace more and more the blessing it is to serve others in His name.  No matter what you do, no matter what season of life you are in, no matter how useful you do or don’t feel, God has great purposes for your life as you use your life to serve others.

Serving is an identity.  It is a blessing to serve.  There is a richness to be experienced in our relationship with Christ as we embrace more and more who He has created us to be.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Jeff

P.s. If you want to serve at Christ Church, you can show your interest here.  Someone would love to respond to you and get you plugged in!