‘Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirt, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality (Romans 12:9-13).’
As I write this I’ve just returned home from shopping at Tesco Extra. The visit there, first thing this morning, was extraordinary. In eight decades I’ve never seen such queues! It took two hours and forty minutes from start to finish, to complete our shopping.
One thing struck me, and that was the dedication of workers at checkouts. None of them were wearing protective masks to keep them safe from the Coronavirus. Being on the frontline, and coming into contact with thousands of customers, they are at great risk, and yet they serve cheerfully.
That brings me to the subject of this blog – Serving One Another.
While out yesterday doing my usual walk, two ladies enquired if I needed any help with shopping. I happened to know one of them, but the other was a complete stranger. Both gave me their contact details in case I should need help during the lockdown that is expected soon. Schools have closed, and only the children of key-workers will be permitted to attend.
I must say I was heartened to think that they cared about my welfare and offered themselves to serve me. My immediate neighbours have also said they will help me and my wife if we are confined to our house.
My church has cancelled all meetings until further notice, and brothers and sisters are *looking out for one another. Where help is required they are there to provide it. We are keeping in touch via What’s App, emailing and telephoning. All past sermons are available online, and no doubt more will be uploaded as time passes.
In these unprecedented times there are special opportunities for serving one another.
Jesus, the One who Serves
In God’s timing He sent His Son to serve and to save those who repent of their sins and believe in Him (Mark 1:15; John 12:47).
Jesus said, ‘“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Mark10:45).”’ He also said, ‘“For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves (Luke 22:27).”’
On the evening before His betrayal, Jesus draped a towel around Himself and washed the feet of His twelve disciples, including the feet of Judas, the one He knew would betray Him (John 13:11).
John tells us: ‘…. He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded (v. 5).’
He said, ‘“You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, happy are you if you do them (vv. 13-17).’
Jesus was, and is, the ultimate Servant. There’s no greater servant; for the Creator of the universe humbled Himself (Philippians 2:8) to make us clean by washing all of our sins away (Revelation 1:5).
Paul writing to the Philippians exhorted them with these words: ‘Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:4-8).’
In all of this, our greatest privilege is serving one another; for when we serve one another, we are serving the Lord (Romans 12:10, 11).
*A Christian’s Concern for the Wellbeing of Others