As a junior in college I was a part of a community of students who would gather on a Sunday afternoon and get to know our neighbors. Each week we would walk through the neighborhood adjacent to our school and knock on doors. If answered, we would introduce ourselves as their neighbor and that we were walking the neighborhood to see how we could pray for them and/or serve them. Sometimes neighbors would say "nothing right now," but after a few times they would open up a bit and say something along the lines of "actually yeah I have this crisis, would you pray for me." Or other times the need was clear, for our elderly or sick neighbors, their yard needed the leaves raked, grass mowed or their garden needed weeded. Through weekly relationships we met some incredible people who we could simply serve as our neighbors.
To serve, or to be a servant. It is a clear call throughout Jesus' ministry on earth that we are to serve. It is a decision to take the humble attitude of a servant. "And he [Jesus] sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, 'If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all'" (Mark 9:35). We all have places, people or roles in life where we serve, perhaps for you it's serving your spouse, kids and grandkids, or maybe your job has you in customer service or health care. Opportunities to serve in our jobs and families abound. But as Jesus sat down with those who were closest to him and called them to serve others, we to are called to serve. Not just at an occasional project here and there but the people we encounter each day. Sometimes this might include those who look and act like us, or others that we might not even enjoy being around.
Serving our neighbor may mean to be intentional by sitting out on the front porch, greeting and getting to know the family next door, or it may mean knocking on the door of the house that looks like it's falling a part and finding out their story. Or maybe for you it's being willing to serve your co-worker or boss by praying for them on a daily basis.
Where is Jesus calling you to be a servant? To you neighbor? To your family? To your coworker? Who is he asking you to humble yourself before and serve?
GINA FARCAS | SERVE DIRECTOR