Relax and listen. Consciously prepare to hear God’s Word. Clear your mind of the worries and tasks that lie before you. Open your heart and allow it to refresh.
Luke 14:12-14 (NRSV)
He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Recently I sat in a meeting of our church’s Missions Ministry Team, which has begun a great new ministry. We are sending people to an area hotel that is known for hosting people who are living on the fringe of experiencing homelessness. Most people in this facility are on their way to or returning from that experience. Our church is attempting to minister to this group by providing occasional meals, clothes, and other necessities.
In the meeting, the question was asked if we should do a better job of displaying the logo of our church when sharing these items. The first question that I had was what the motivation for that move would be. If it is simply so that those receiving our gifts would know that the people of God love them, I am in favor of it. If it so that we can have higher church attendance or so that people see our name and know that we have done a good thing, then I think we are doing it for the wrong reason.
We are called to serve. We are called to share what we have been given. But we are also called to serve for the right reasons. The world may offer temporary rewards, but we are called to serve in anticipation of the payment that comes “at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Gracious God, you allow us to serve with and for you. You have called us to care for the people of this world. Sometimes, we simply want to serve those who can serve us in some way. Forgive us for serving with the wrong motivation. Lead us to places that we can serve so that we can make a difference in the lives of others and glorify you. Amen.
Go with God.