A NEW YOU FOR THE NEW YEAR – FAITHFUL IN THE MUNDANE – SERMON RESOURCES
ENGAGING THE PRACTICAL TIP
We have all heard it before that human nature is inherently selfish. We are wired to look out for #1, ourselves. This is scarcity repackaged as selfishness. And it’s powered by our fear that we won’t be taken care of.
As Jesus preaches about the kingdom, he subverts and overthrows the hierarchical structures of his day. He invites us to his way of life, a life lived in his kingdom that has it’s own economy and runs on something other than power, wealth, heredity, and freedom. The kingdom he belongs to runs on love. Our service is performed in the presence of love, our service is the result of love, not out of obligation, or fear, or guilt.
As kingdom people, we are invited to live the life that Jesus preached and modeled. A life of service. Our transformation is the key to our kingdom living, we enter the kingdom through our service, not in payment to the King, but as an enactment of what it means to be the King’s people.
Radical self-denial and grand gestures makes sense, but following Jesus means following him into the mundane, the faithful, consistent care for the least of these. Faithfulness in little things is what it takes to change the world. Our service has to be fueled by his vision of the world and empowered by the presence of the Holy Spirit. At it’s core, this is our discipleship.
Service must take form and shape in the world in which we live, in our spaces of influence. Therefore, we are invited to perceive what service looks like in the marketplace of our daily lives. This is the invitation from Jesus. Be faithful in the little things. There is no call to the extraordinary, it’s a call to the trifling, the trivia, the mundane. And we meet Jesus here, in the face of the other we are serving, shifting our posture, our perspective, welcoming the kingdom we seek, becoming transformed.
SERVING FAITHFULLY IN THE MUNDANE
We exist in community as the body of Christ, all of us united by our shared love of Jesus. This means that we care for one another as Jesus cares for us. We are also called to care for a greater community of people outside of the church as the hands, the feet, and money of Jesus.
But this requires that we believe something: we can’t out give God. This isn’t an invitation to do what you cannot, this is an invitation to do what you can. And it starts with a surrender of the fear that drives our insecurities–that we won’t be taken care of, provided for, and loved. God has blessed us all with different gifts, abilities, and possessions. We come together as one body with many different members, and pool all these gifts, abilities and possessions. Remember service is our tutor, we learn what living in the kingdom is as we serve one another, this is our learning laboratory, our incubator.
This week, our practical tip is to take another step towards Jesus’ kingdom by serving someone. If you haven’t yet done this, see if you can find a few minutes of quiet to sit with the possibility of doing something for someone (or some group of people). While trying let your mind be quiet with God during this time, as people or situations come to mind, don’t try to resolve right away whether you should do some act of service for them. Just let them be in your mind, try to sense how God is being towards you or them as you do this and continue to sit with God. When your time is up, you might thank God for the time to be with him. You might also look back over the people that came to your mind and see if God is nudging you towards some small act of service. If so, decide when or under what circumstances you can do it and ask God’s blessing on your decision.
When you do the act of service, try to be aware of God’s presence, both with you and with the other person(s). After you are done, when you have a chance to again be quiet with God, talk to Him about the task and what He might have for you through it.
Feel free to share your experience with others who have also tried this prayer exercise by commenting below or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.