Saturday, September 19, 2009

DANGEROUS CHURCH: Dangerous servants September 20th

Dangerous church: Dangerous servants

Sept 20, 2009


What was Jesus thinking?!

This was his final banquet. Everyone should have been dressed in tuxes, with fancy food, and speakers to honor him. The media should have been there, the caterer should have been standing by- the red carpet should have been rolled out when his limo arrived, and all eyes should have been on Jesus.

He was after all God’s son. The firstborn among all creation. The alpha and omega, the first and the last, the savior of the world, messiah and Lord.

· Perhaps reading the parallel passage in Luke, James and John had just had their argument about who would be the greatest in the Kingdom.

· Perhaps knowing a little bit about the oriental custom that the guests bathed before they came to a banquet, but because the roads were either dust bowls or mud pits depending on the season and the weather, a servant washed the guests feet as they entered the home, and knowing that this little band of disciples didn’t have any servants; none of the disciples were willing to lower themselves to do the servant’s job of washing the feet.

· Perhaps they were all too busy. Without servants or caterers, the disciples may have had several chores to do to get the dinner ready, and they thought “oh, someone else will do the washing.”

· Perhaps they each said, “I did my bit.” It‘s time for someone else to do that job.

· Perhaps someone said “I’ll wash my own feet, but I’m not going to wash anyone else’s.”

I don’t know what all the circumstances were, but I do know that the Lord- the master- the Messiah, the king of kings- the great high priest- the son of God- the guest of honor got up - found a basin and towel, knelt down and started to wash the disciple’s feet.

· Jesus Didn’t think he was too great to do the servant work

· Jesus didn’t think he was too busy to do the dirty work.

· Jesus didn’t think he was too important to do the menial work.

· Jesus didn’t say “I’m doing my share by dying on the cross for your sins. It’s someone else’s turn.”

· Jesus didn’t say “I can’t do that”

· Jesus Didn’t say “I have too many other commitments”

· Jesus didn’t say “I’m not very good at that.”

· Jesus didn’t say “Don’t we pay someone to do that?”

· Jesus didn’t say, “I had a bad experience once and I’m not going back there.”

· Jesus didn’t say “I can’t do that tonight, I have to get home to watch project runway.”

· Jesus didn’t say “I don’t want to do that it just feels like work.”

· Jesus didn’t say “Well no body asked me”

· Jesus didn’t say “But this is my only day to sleep in”

· Jesus didn’t say “I gave money, that should be enough.”

· Jesus didn’t say “I don’t serve because I give all my free time to my family”

You might think some of that sounds silly but I promise they are all reasons I have heard not to volunteer. They might be good reasons not to volunteer but we aren’t talking about volunteering. Jesus didn’t call volunteers. This was not volunteer appreciation dinner. This was no volunteer training session. This was servant hood training

How many of you believe you are better than Jesus.

If you have ever given one of those “reasons” you are behaving as though you are better than the one who got up, put the towel around his waist, knelt down and washed their feet.

He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. Philippians 2:7

Jesus never used the word volunteer. But he used the word slave many times. Let’s put that key verse up.

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, Ro 6:22

Say that with me!!!

Jesus never asked his followers to give up a few hours of their day off, but he did call them to give up everything they have. Say it again

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, Ro 6:22

Church volunteers have to be cornered, coddled, and convinced that their participation won't take up too much of their time. Servants gladly give what they have. Say it again

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, Ro 6:22

Volunteers ask, "How little can I do to get you off my back?" Servants go the extra mile.

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, Ro 6:22

Volunteers serve in their spare time- Slaves of Christ make serving a priority.

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, Ro 6:22

We don’t need more volunteers who give away what time they can spare. We need more slaves whose lives belong to the Lord.

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, Ro 6:22

Is it Dangerous for a pastor to get up and shoot down all of excuses behind which people hide? Sure, but the truth is the only person your hiding from is yourself because we all see right through the excuse and so does God.

Is it dangerous for the chairman of the nominating committee to say we don’t need volunteers? Sure it is, but not as dangerous as putting the work of God in the hands of the uncommitted.

Is it dangerous to live as a slave to God? Sure. But not as dangerous as not living as a slave to God!

One more time- with one little change in the scripture.

We have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, Ro 6:22

The response this morning is printed on your insert called towel and basin survey. First things first- everyone put your name on a survey. Everyone needs one and everyone needs to put a name on one.

Now just answer the question. If you were going to serve on a committee (Not saying you are, but just imagine) which jobs would you rather do? (Mark all that would be acceptable.)

Do that while we sing amazing love. Then while the next two songs play, come forward for baptism renewal? Place your survey in the bowl and receive baptism renewal saying I have been set free from sin and have become a slave to God. Ro 6:22

If there happens to be anyone who has never been baptized and you are ready to profess faith in Jesus Christ let me know and we’ll gather around and baptize you. If you have never been baptized and aren’t today, bring your survey up and ask for a blessing I will lay my hand on your head and pray a sentence prayer.

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