Posts Tagged Serve

John 13:1-17, 31b-35 “Humbled to Love Another” Holy Thursday 2015 RSUMC

communion_Grapes Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.” After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord–and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” [NRSV]

Be known as those who humble themselves before others:

  1. 1. Not allowing others to walk over you, but know you are strong enough to lead by serving
  2. 2. Humility is not thinking you are worthless, rather live knowing you can give yourself away to God because God has given Christ for our life and relationship.
  3. 3. Foot Washing is a intimate act of service. There are others that are equally intimate: sitting at table to eat is intimate. Transforming coffee time into teaching to read time (DC homeless example)
  4. 4. Develop a self image that reflects Jesus in you (Thoughts and actions)

A Reputation: How we are known and seen in the eyes and perspective of others.

  1. 1. A balance on not defining ourselves by others, at the same time being an example for others to follow.
  2. 2. Be known as one who God self-humbled to love and save, therefore be bold in loving others.

We come to the table to receive what we cannot provide for ourselves.

  1. We are served that we might have what is needed to become a servant leader
  2. We are fed because, while we can fill our lives, we cannot satisfy our spirits without God’s spiritual food.
  3. This table is the fruit of faithfulness for the purpose of bridging our unfaithfulness.

I’m not worthy, but to God I am worth it. REPEAT and SHARE

  • Come to the Table… Humble yourself and be served
  • Leave this Table… Lead by serving others as Christ has done for us.

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Acts 5:27-32 “Breaking the Rules” JUMC 20130407

DoThisRememberingMeTableTop

When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.” [NRSV]

What have we been told NOT to do?
• Don’t eat with your mouth full of food.
Don’t let your shirttail be un-tucked
• Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, ill words.
• Don’t talk to strangers.
• Don’t talk during church.
• Don’t pray out loud as those who boast of their religion.
• Don’t worry about the poor, they will always be with us.
• Don’t be anxious about tomorrow.
• Don’t hesitate in giving your coat as well as your shirt.
• Don’t neglect the orphan and the widow.
• Don’t worship other God’s
• Don’t work on the Sabbath
• Don’t kill, steal, lie or covet
• Don’t dishonor your parents faithfulness
• Don’t leave home without your AMEX card.
• Our list could go on..

Listen closely to Peter and the disciples, now apostles in verse 28, “the council gave them strict order not to teach in Jesus’ name.”

Take a moment to look at the disciples new job title: Apostle. What is that about? Apostle is when a Disciple is entrusted with the work of leading other disciples. He or She is still a disciple of Jesus, but with the additional responsibility of leading disciples.

With this new job, there is a heightened commitment to the work of discipleship. Hear their response to the charges that they have broken the rules, not kept the expectations of the community leaders, not respected the limitations of those who do not know Jesus’ call, authority and power.

They reply: “We must do what God has called us to do.”

How do you know if you are doing what God wants you to do with your life. This is a fundamental question of a disciple trying to life as a disciple.

How do I know I’m doing what God wants?
First thing: Disciples follow Jesus. Look, listen and study what Jesus did and said and compare that to what Jesus people do and say today.
Second: if someone tell us to do something half way for God, is that how God operates? No, God is all in.
Third: Rarely is discipleship easy, welcomed or invited.
Finally: Knowing that I need to ask for course corrections is a sign that God can continually change us.

Catch two things before we leave this passage:

1. Peter and the others take this opportunity of challenge to teach the message.
They tell the story even when those challenging and threatening have said they don’t want to hear it.

2. Second the Council authorities say:
Your “faithfulness” will get us in trouble, it will be a problem to us, it will make us look bad..
They tell the lack of understanding they have and their unwillingness to seek God’s direction.

If someone makes you feel uncomfortable about sharing your faith, you are probably on the right track
And if someone makes you feel good about keeping quiet or not acting in accordance with your faith, they are most likely not leading on the right track.

It is one of the reason that Jesus established the renewal of faith through Holy Communion, to be a recharging and restoring of our faith and trust of the core story of our faith.

Why do we eat the bread? Jesus’ life and body, broken and scarified
Why do we drink the cup? Jesus becomes the fulfillment of the prophets and law, our Lamb and Savior.

We retell and relive the community and common faith and promise that Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again.

Psalm 118:14-29
14 The LORD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. 15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the LORD does valiantly; 16 the right hand of the LORD is exalted; the right hand of the LORD does valiantly.” 17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD. 18 The LORD has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death. 19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD. 20 This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it. 21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save us, we beseech you, O LORD! O LORD, we beseech you, give us success! 26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you from the house of the LORD. 27 The LORD is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar. 28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you. 29 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Come to the Table,

Eat and Drink,

Do not become weary, but remain strong and true in telling the story of our faith in Jesus Christ.

Come.

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“The Giving Continues” Matthew 25:31-46 JUMC 20120101

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.. –NRSV

As we end the year 2011 the highest rated TV shows have been football games; number two over all and the number one series is the X-Factor. Knowing the letter “X” is Greek for CHI and a historic abbreviation for “CHRIST”. Our life and faith are founded on the X-factor. Is that the conversation you hear folks following and sharing? Or is it football teams and entertainers that we will talk about come the Day of Judgment and accountability?

As we begin 2012 I am struck with how on-target other businesses are with their marketing for the new year: For example: Weight Watchers focusing on our cultures intention to adopt fresh resolutions offer a new message for this year:  2012 The Year for Believers:

“By declaring 2012 ‘The Year to Believe’ we are sounding a rallying cry to help persons across the country turn their dreams in truth,” said Cheryl Callan, Principal Promotion Officer for Dieters. “Dieters will encircle persons with inspirational messages starting in the holiday season and then ongoing all the way through the coming year. At a time when lots of us are not feeling specifically confident, we wish to express our ardent faith in persons and the power in all of us to change for the much better. We see it take place each day. That Is what we are about, and what ‘The Year to Believe’ will be about.”

Chrysler employed a mass choir to introduce their new line of cars calling would be buyers to “Lose Themselves” MT 16, MK 8, LK 9, That sounds just like Jesus’ word for those who will follow.

Blackberry threatened by iphone and android devices calls for us to “Be Bold”  Believe: That sounds like the Gospel of John’s message and invitation! Be Bold, That sounds like the apostle Paul, 2Cor 3 and 10. How is it that?

Jesus’ messages is clear:

  • Are you aware of people other than yourself?
  • Are you aware of people who suffer?
  • What are you doing about it?

Football games have pre-games to gets us ready, excited, informed and primed.

The pre-show is not the game..

  • Get into the real game…. Feed the hungry, clothe the cold, befriend the excluded and lonely
  • Let’s look at 2011: How many hungry people did you help feed? What were their names?
  • Until the time of accountability comes:
  • Our Task, Our Mission, Our Response is Feed, Clothe, Share.

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