If You Had the Opportunity To Serve
Delivered By
From Pastor Lee
Delivered On
July 1, 2022
If You Had the Opportunity To Serve

Generally, this time of year is a time of rest, relaxation, vacation for many of us as the Fourth of July comes again. It’s a day that is situated close to the middle of the summer season when most people take vacations. It is also a day we celebrate, or at least are reminded of, our independence as Americans. Not only is it here upon us again, but if we are taking notice of what is happening in the world around us we see so much oppression. What may add to that anxiety or fear (or “concern” since Jesus told us not to worry) is the fact that the Church seems to be a weaker, inconsequential voice than it once was among the ever-growing and louder voices of secular change and the spirit of anti-Christianity.

Gil Rendle, a guest speaker at Annual Conference some years ago, said the Church in America today finds itself in a place we’ve never experienced. And this was a few years before we had ever heard of Covid. He went on to compare the Church being like the Hebrew people in the wilderness whom God, through Moses, led out of Egypt. That doesn’t sound too comforting to most of us since we know how they wandered around for forty years in the wilderness. However dire that may sound, Rendle went on to say it’s not really a bad thing, but an opportunity for mission as the mission field is becoming ever larger here in America. So where do we go from here? The easiest and safest way would be to allow the currents of our society to carry us and shape our ways of thinking and seeing the world. With Jesus, however, there is an urgency to do something different besides live and let live.

If you were a part of the worship service on June 19th, you had the opportunity to hear about one such opportunity for service in the kingdom of God. It was a very encouraging and prompting spirit among us as we heard through object lessons and stories of those involved in Salkehatchie Summer Service. To have those with us who were beginning that week to serve and work with others to make a difference in the lives of people was a great reminder and prompting to seek and serve in the name of Jesus. At the end of this month there will be another opportunity (VBS) to work with children, maybe some who come from homes where Jesus is not known. These are just two examples of many opportunities we have to serve. Too often we believe that loving Jesus means simply coming to Sunday School, Bible Study, or worship service. Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few…” (Luke 10:2). This he spoke after he had encountered those who said they wanted to follow Jesus but had other things which took priority over Jesus.

I don’t believe I ever read in the Bible anywhere where Jesus told anyone to take their time and to think about following him as they go and do whatever they desired the most. As we “celebrate” our freedom this Fourth of July, my prayer is that we would use the freedom we have in Christ to love and follow Jesus NOW as we live in a day and age when the Church seems to find itself in a wilderness, but a wilderness overflowing with opportunity to serve in the love of Jesus Christ.