This past Sunday we reflected on our call to “grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). Here is a biblical image of what that looks like:
When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. … He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet… (John 13:1, 4-5).
Serving others is the essential expression of worshippers who are growing into the fullness of Christ. This is why the second half of our vocational name is so important – “God with us for the sake of others.” This is also why Jesus himself insists that loving God and loving our neighbor together comprise the fullness of true worship (Mark 12:28-34).
Serve. This will be the focus for our final Sunday of remembering who we are as Immanuel Anglican Church. “Serve” really is just another word for the biblical understanding of “love,” a continuous, self-giving commitment to the other’s wholeness and good, expressed in thought, word, and deed. Jesus goes so far as to say that “whoever would be great among you must be your servant” (Mark 10:43), and his teaching makes it clear that we are to serve both those within the family of God and those whom he longs to bring into his family.
This Sunday is also the day to bring your pledge cards to church. Our preaching series began within the context of remembering how giving is essential to relationship – God gives to us, and we respond by giving as an expression of gratitude, trust, and partnership. Your financial giving, communicated on your pledge cards, is partnership with God in facilitating how together we Worship, Grow, and Serve.
Remember also the homework Alan has given us in his recent letter! Bring your suggested list of actions for “farming the land” in which the Lord has placed our church. We will offer these and our pledge cards to the Lord as faithful responses to Paul’s words:
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Romans 11:36-12:1).
Your Pastor in Christ,