So about a month, seeing as it was time for our monthly “Third Sunday Service” I wrote a post using some big words. I used that dreaded and often tricky word Theology, and I began to talk about my “Theology of Service.” I basically wrote that the most basic building block of our active faith in the world is the fact that we seek to follow the example of Jesus. Jesus’ served the lost and the least, and gave to those who no social or financial standing in the world around us.
This second entry on the Theology of Service is one that I have been thinking about since I wrote the last one. I have wondered and I have been seeking to understand where I should go next with explaining a Theology of Service. The conclusion I have come to is to continue on the path of we serve because, but what does that mean we do? Yes we serve to follow the example of Jesus, but how do we figure out what exactly we need to do?
I have written, and talked about with the Youth here at Mulberry, about John Wesley’s idea of doing all the good you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can. Wesley was a proponent of what many call “Social Justice,” way before Glenn Beck ballyhooed “progressive” churches. What is meant by social justice is bringing the world around into a greater degree of justice in our social world. Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and also working to make sure that all people have equal opportunity to see the benefits society has to offer. This last part is where Glenn Beck and other political and pseudo-religious leaders have a large problem, but I do not think we will deal with those issues today.
If we are going to serve, feeding and clothing, how do we start, and the answer is (drum roll…) one step at a time. One mouth at a time, one back at a time, until such a time as all have their needs met. The first century church is recorded to have, “taken everything in common, and distributing as any had need.” While many people would call this idea communist, or at least socialist, the first century church saw this as how we effectively live in community. I am in no way suggesting we all get together and share everything we have, the American way of life has changed the basic way in which we live. However, here is what I am saying, we should not hang on to our possessions to the point they possess us.
The second part of my Theology of Service is the idea of serving where w e are, and making sure that what we have is not seen as our own, but a blessing from God. Paul wrote that “faith without works is dead,” and we must remember that when we truly hunger for the light that is Jesus, we will start with one step (which is a quote from Dave Matthews Band “Hunger for the Great Light”).