So, it's the beginning of February and you may be thinking about the New Year, new bills from Christmas, new resolutions for how to make 2008 better than 2007.
I don't know what your list may look like, but I am fairly certain that not very many people have "serving others" on their list of things to do in 2008.
Typically we're thinking about what we can do to help ourselves. We may feel that, since the holidays are past, it's time to focus on ourselves and what we want out of life.
Christians though, are called to look beyond ourselves and see how we can be a benefit and a blessing to those with whom we come into contact throughout our lives.
Jesus reminds us of this calling shortly after two of his disciples, James and John, seek to have a more elevated position with Jesus in his kingdom. Jesus tells them they do not know what they are asking. He calls all the disciples to him and tells them this: "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many," Matthew 20:25-28.
Our attitudes, first of all, should not be like the rest of the world in the desire to have power and control seeking to have the fearful respect of those around us.
We should not be the kind of people who lord over other people and brag about how great they are, how great the position is they hold or how wonderfully spiritual they are.
Instead, we should actively seek how we can become, like Jesus, a servant. He did not come to have others wait on him. He came to wait on others. He led by example. It is now the Christian's job to follow that example.
Being a willing servant with a deep love for God and a genuine concern for others enables us to serve in the manner Christ intended for us.
Christians need to have pure motives and loving hearts as we seek to serve others.
Charles Wesley wrote: "Let us go forth, 'tis Christ's command, let us make haste away. We offer to Christ our heart and hands, we work for Christ today."
May we offer Christ our all our gifts, our time, our talents, our resources that we may truly serve others today and every day throughout this new year.
Laura Skiba is pastor of North Star United Methodist Church at Mile 25.5 of the Kenai Spur Highway in Nikiski. Sunday school begins at 9:45 a.m. and worship is at 11 a.m. For more information, call 776-8732.
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