Jesus Is Our Example
Gotta Serve Somebody
On Slow Train Coming, Bob Dylan crystallized the reality of life with the bluesy gospel song Gotta Serve Somebody. It matters not who one is or what one does, each of us are gonna have to serve somebody.
Denying that won’t change it: Whether by active choice or by passive default, we all end up serving someone or something. Some spend their lives spinning wheels chasing after shadows full of spectacular promises, only to discover sad and lonely places devoid of purpose and meaning.
Others go through the motions of serving Christ, but their hearts are not truly in it, so self-centered seeds are sown, bringing forth all the bitter fruits of hypocrisy. Still others humbly endeavor to pour out their lives in surrendered service, venturing to be a loving witness for Christ to all people.
Who Do You Serve?
If our intentional choice is to serve Christ, then let’s strip away all pretenses and do some honest evaluation. Culturally correct Christianity has had an anaesthetizing effect, but the truth is that those who choose to serve Christ have actually been called to a sacrificial ethical and relational standard.
We stumble and bumble our way along, but our lame applications do nothing to alter the radically different nature of the ethos we are to incorporate as our own.
Jesus is our example. His lifestyle was one of grace and forgiveness. He traveled around doing good and inviting everyone into relationship with him; he valued individuals and urged them to come together to experience community with one another.
Jesus tried to explain that God was not a mean-spirited old coot just sitting on a cloud waiting for us to mess up so he could put the screws to us. Christ painted a portrait of God as a loving Father who would freely set aside his own dignity to run through a marketplace and embrace a son who had openly spurned him.
New Wine, Old Wineskins
In his teachings, Jesus shattered societal stigmas and dismantled sacramental barriers that only divided and isolated people. He boldly tweaked the noses of those religious bigots and political power brokers who practiced and promoted policies of exclusion.
Jesus partied with fringe characters and ne’er do wells not welcome in reputable circles, while reserving some harsh and accusatory language for those who presented themselves as paragons of virtue and respectability. He elevated the lowly, which caused the mighty to pitch fits as they entertained murderous plots against him. The practical bend of his new wine theology could not be contained in the ceremonial old wineskins of the synagogues.
Grace & Forgiveness
Jesus is our example. We tread where fools fear to tread when we develop even an inkling of an idea that we have achieved some acceptable reflection of his model. There always remains room for improvement; each of us stands in constant need of having our attitude adjusted. Our individual and collective failings are self-evident.
Fortunately, we are creatures in the process of grace and forgiveness. Christ continually reaches out to us, so our extensive shortcomings ought not to deter us, but rather, we should be spurred on toward greater effort and faith.
There is no shortage of misery in our world. People wander aimlessly or bounce from one mistake to another like glassy-eyed shipwreck survivors.
Hucksters and shamans market the equivalent of snake oil solutions that many hurting people become victimized by in their desperation to find significance, healing and hope. Into this maelstrom of sorrow, those who have chosen to serve Christ are to be conduits of his grace and forgiveness. We are to be agents of reconciliation, bearing witness to the miracle of God’s plan of salvation.
There is no big secret or magic pill to make it easy. Jesus affected change and impacted his world by developing friendships with individuals in real-life situations. He interacted with groups in perfectly natural settings. We are to do likewise. His example ought to be the catalyst that compels ordinary people to live out what we say we believe, attempting to apply faith in the highways and byways of our lives.
You're gonna have to serve somebody. By active choice or by passive default, exactly who do you serve? When we choose to serve Christ, we are commissioned to live and tell the story of grace and forgiveness. No believer is exempt from sharing his or her faith with others. It is nothing less than our sacred calling and duty.
Jesus is our example. He set aside his majesty to stroll along dusty avenues proclaiming the great good news. Will we leave comfy confines to engage a broken world desperate for grace and forgiveness?
- Wanted Man
Wanted Man a.k.a. Ken R. Abell, seeks to be a blessing to others. He's a rake, a rambler, and a teller of tales who understands that there is strength in a story well told and well lived. To learn more, inquire or schedule him, visit this web site.
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