Serving during Coronavirus
By Gerry Straker, 10 Apr 2020
On Good Friday, we think about Jesus the Servant King (Mark 10:45). Jesus’ whole life is serving his death is serving and his rule is serving as he blesses his subjects.
And we are to be servants, slaves of all. That is true greatness. So: ‘Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.’ (Romans 12:11 ESV). How do we serve our Servant King? We serve our Servant King by serving his Servant Church.
‘This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 'Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.’ 1 John 4:10-11 NIV 1984). God loves us, and we ought to love our brothers and sisters in the church. Obeying Jesus, remaining in Jesus’ love, is to love each other as he has loved us (John 15:10-12).
We have the Holy Spirit who gives us different gifts. There are different ways of serving the Lord Jesus. There are different ways of working, but God the Father is working in us. This is for the good of the Church (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). We are a body made up of different parts. We are not to be envious of other people’s gifts, nor dismissive of other people’s gifts. We are one body and should have equal concern for one another (1 Corinthians 12:14-25). ‘Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.’ (1 Corinthians 12:27 NIV 1984).
If you are a Christian, then just like everyone else, you are vital in the body of Christ and you have a role to play. And so serve our servant King by serving His servant Church!
So let me ask you a few questions:
- How can you thank God for the service of Church family?
- What ideas do you have for serving your Church family?
- How can you use your time to serve others in this lockdown?
- Are you praying for your Church family?
- How can you encourage your Church family? (e.g. phone calls, messages, cards, letters).
- How can you serve those who are living on their own?
- If you have time on your hands, here’s something to think about: is there something you could do now, that would mean you have more time or ability to serve in the future?
- Organise your life or house better.
- Get ahead with something.
- Learn something new (to cook)?
- Pick up something again (an instrument)?
- Read quality Christian books to help you work on holiness, or to teach and encourage others.
Maybe here’s a chance for a few of you to take on a project that will improve your opportunities for serving in the future!
We serve our servant King by serving His servant Church.
Serving the busy
It’s worth remembering that some in your Church family are incredibly stretched with constant childcare, or going out to work, or working at home, or a combination! How can you serve them? If you have more time on your hands, what can you do to help those who are busy? Those who are juggling work and children for instance? You can’t take the work off them in most cases. But you could encourage them to keep their eyes on the Lord.
- You could take the initiative and get in contact first.
- Pray, and tell them you’ve prayed for them!
- Leave a nice message for them to pick up.
- Share something you’ve read in the Bible that day, or that’s encouraged you recently.
If you have time on your hands, how could you serve those who don’t?
Can I encourage you to make the first step?
Serving at home
Of course, some people are serving at home; looking after each other and caring for loved ones. For some, this is precious time and there are precious opportunities for teaching and modelling and to enjoy. Relationships are being given time that there hasn’t been for a while. This is God-given time for growth in marriages and family relationships. Wouldn’t it be great if this season were to be used for growing Christ-centred relationships in the home!
Mums and dads are homeschooling. What a wonderful opportunity for Bible teaching, and for Christ-honouring learning about his world.
Serving at work
‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.’ (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV 1984). In each Church there will be key workers who are still working! Some will be working at home. Both are working for Jesus our heavenly Master too.
All of us still have people we know nearby who perhaps could use our help. ‘Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.’ (Galatians 6:10 NIV 1984). Yes you serve your Church first, but your love is to flow out to the world and we are to do good to all people.
A major way of serving your Church would be to get ready to use technology! Here at Church by the Bay our C3 teams are going online on Wednesday 15th April! God’s given us the gift of technology and we want to use it for his glory. All Christians would, of course, rather meet face to face! But while we at Church by the Bay can’t, we’re going to meet in our small groups online – we know how important it is to meet together (Hebrews 10:25) and we thank God for the internet.
We want to ‘let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom…’ (Colossians 3:16 NIV 1984). It will be so lovely to see, hear, teach and pray with one another. It's important that we can teach, encourage, serve, pray for each other, and be taught, encouraged, served, and prayed for yourself.