We are nearing the end of our sermon series on “How to Be a Christian in 7
Easy Steps.” As we conclude the last few weeks, I hope that you find yourselves enriched by this exploration of the core of our Christian faith.
When I was a teenager, I had the opportunity to participate in Sierra Service Project. Not only was it an opportunity to connect with other kids my age from around Southern California – something any teenage boy loves to do – but it was a powerful illustration of privilege and need and the opportunity to do good. In partnership with others, I was able to improve a family’s home and therefore their lives. It was amazing. And perhaps you have had that opportunity as well.
John 13:1-5, 13-17
1Before the Festival of Passover, Jesus knew that his time had come to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them fully.
2Jesus and his disciples were sharing the evening meal. The devil had already provoked Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew the Father had given everything into his hands and that he had come from God and was returning to God. 4So he got up from the table and took off his robes. Picking up a linen towel, he tied it around his waist. 5Then he poured water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing.
13You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you speak correctly, because I am. 14If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet. 15I have given you an example: Just as I have done, you also must do. 16I assure you, servants aren’t greater than their master, nor are those who are sent greater than the one who sent them. 17Since you know these things, you will be happy if you do them.
Consider these questions:
- Have you ever volunteered for Sierra Service Project or Habitat for Humanity or another similar organization?
- What’s the most significant service experience you have ever had? What impact did it have on you?
- What are some practical ways you can serve others in the church and/or community? And how can you share this in conversation (face-to-face or digitally) so others might be inspired to join you?
Post-Sermon Update on Feb. 7th
This past Sunday’s sermon came out a bit different than I expected it to. This happens from time to time, and I find that this happens most often when I am especially aware of – and open to – the movement of the Holy Spirit.
My intent was to focus on the enrichment and joy and fulfillment we experience when we serve our neighbors in our community. Instead, the Spirit moved in a way that I find both challenging and prophetic. What came out of this movement was:
“If we cannot live our faith, we need to ask ourselves if we can call ourselves Christians.”
“This church is not a place to shelter ourselves from the evils of the world. This is a place to be nourished and strengthened and challenged so that we can get out of this place and BE the church. The church is not this room.”
Take a listen:
Please consider these follow-up questions:
- What do you think it means to be a person of faith?
- Do you think it’s possible to be a Christian without actively serving others?
- Is something holding you back from this kind of service? If so, what is it and how can you work through it?