Not A Bad Start-
At the Joel Team meeting on Monday night, we were discussing what a disciple of Jesus Christ “looks like.” How would you know one if you saw one, we asked. One of the members of the team shared his opinion (and I’m paraphrasing) that a disciple is one who has so come to love the Lord that his or her life reflects that love in service to others.
While I think that is an incomplete definition, it’s certainly not a bad start. Service to others, sharing the love of God in concrete ways is one of the marks of discipleship and evidences of grace in our lives. Jesus certainly seemed to think so or at least implied as much in a good deal of his teaching. John Wesley seemed to agree as Methodists have always been a people of heart, head, and hands.
That sense of serving is woven into our baptismal and membership vows as well. We promise to create a community of love and forgiveness so that the newly baptized may “grow in their service to others” while renewing our commitment to support the ministry of the church with our service (along with our prayers, presence, gifts, and witness). Baptism doesn’t complete our journey; but it’s not a bad start.
This Sunday, as we worship on the Sunday of the Baptism of the Lord and gather around the font, we will be reminded that service begins in the waters of baptism and flows into the world through our lives. We will hear the prophet Isaiah remind Israel that “the servant of the Lord” is a “covenant to the peoples and a light to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1-9) We will hear that Jesus’ baptism by John “fulfills all righteousness” (Matthew 3:13-17) And we will try to find our place in that story as a people of service.
I hope to see you Sunday as we continue to travel “by another way” – this week “the way of service.”
Grace and peace.