“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 26, NO. 29&30 – TO SERVE OR NOT TO SERVE
While writing last Sunday’s sermon, I noticed a familiar passage that suddenly wasn’t as familiar as I remembered. It is Paul’s statement on Mars Hill in Acts 17:24,25. “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else”
What I saw was clouded by what I have heard. We get that, “does not live in temples built by human hands” thing. But what about the, “And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he gives all men life and breath and everything else.”?
If this is true, why is it you can hear over and over such statements about God demanding (commanding) that we praise him, and that we serve him and so forth? Why is it we can hear so much about a God who wants worship toward him to be exact in order to please him? How much of the Old Testament lingers in our view of God?
What do we do with Jesus’ comment that he came not to be served, but to serve? Matt. 28:20 Who did Jesus serve and how? How are we to serve and worship God? If you examine the writings of Paul, you find very little about worship. Rather than “acts of worship,” Paul seems to see worship as service. Rom. 12:1 In other words, worship to God is service to others.
Let’s get it straight: The will of God has never been about doing something for God. The will of God has always been about his creatures and his creation. From the very beginning the writers knew this, so we read in Genesis, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man (humankind) in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’” That, and fulfilling what is meant by being made in the image of God, is the will of God. God does not need any of that. It is the “life and breath and everything else” that God provides in creation. When we get that right, how we treat the earth and everything in it, we are doing the will of God. Why would God be pleased with that? Because it is a gift, not to God from God, but to us, and we should appreciate it
You know the rule, “When in doubt, read the instructions.” So how does Jesus serve God? Sure, he went to synagogue, but that was a place where full attention was paid to God and learning more about God, as well as thanksgiving for what God had done. It’s obvious from events Jesus encountered in the synagogue, that going and being there did not mean the same as doing the will of God, i.e., serving God.
In Acts 10:38 it says”…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how he went about doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” (NIV)
My concentration here is that the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which I would assume was to do the will of God, was about doing good to people.
But, on a side note, read that text again. How does God anoint God? Why would Jesus need the Holy Spirit, and why would he need “power” along with the Holy Spirit? And why didn’t Peter say “because he was God,” instead of “because God was with him.”? But that’s another discussion
Jesus served and worshiped God by doing the things God wants for his creation. (See the Sermon on the Mount.) Jesus made it plain in Matthew 25:31-46, that worship (service) to God was found in this statement, “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
The synagogue (church) is important, but true service (worship) goes beyond those doors and into the world. The writer of James also knew that and expressed it in very clear terms.
CONCERNS: Stephanie Dixon will go to UVA Medical Center on the 13th to see a specialist about her skin cancer. Her brother, Dwayne, is recovering from a nail that entered his eye. Things look pretty good, but more surgery will be needed. T. J. Hall is to see an eye doctor. The light is hurting his eyes. Judy Hall will have a heart test as well. Betty Branch will have knee replacement surgery in New Jersey on the 13th. Bud McWhorter also had knee replacement surgery. Helen Nicklas has not been doing well lately. Kathy Sirgy, Abraham’s wife, is having a lot of back pain and may need surgery. Jim Hunter will see a new orthopedic surgeon this month, hoping to help reach a settlement in a law suit involving a car accident he was injured in. Erma Williams’ cousin, Eleanor Bresee, (ovarian cancer) Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, (leukemia) also her brother, Nick who is well enough to have knee replacement surgery scheduled. Kim (Hall’s) friend, Mary, (Parkinson’s) It was good to see Susan Phlegar up and about after her back surgery. Continue prayers for Rich Crites, Gary Overstreet, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum, Tim elder, Mary Smith, and Mrs. Matara, Marie Barnett’s family and Todd Buamgardner, Wayne Flora’s postmaster who is on dialysis..
OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 4-9
Monday: Psalm 16:1-11
Tuesday: Matthew 20:1-16
Wednesday: Amos 3:12-4:5
Thursday: Hebrews 10:19-39
Friday: Ephesians 5:3-20
Saturday: Psalm 148:1-14
OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 11-16
Monday: John 1:35-51
Tuesday: Revelation 1:4-20
Wednesday: I Corinthians 6:7-20
Thursday: Luke 17:11-19
Friday: Philippians 2:1-13
Saturday: Psalm 98:1-9
THE CONTRIBUTION The steering committee has been discussing ways in which the contribution can be separated from the Communion. It has been decided that the contribution will be taken up as before, but at the end of the service following the sermon. There will be a collection song sung during the offering and then the one making closing announcements will say the blessing for the contribution which will include the closing prayer. The one collection box on the rear pew will still be used for anyone who needs to use it.
The upcoming new directory is a list of those who worship here. It is not a membership list, but a convenient list which enables information and ways of communication to be available. Please fill out one of the large cards on the foyer table even if you filled out one for Ben Robertson. These cards are kept in the office because they contain information not in the directory; such as what service you would be willing to render. Leave the filled-in card on the foyer table or hand it to Keith. The sooner this is done, the sooner we can print the new directory.
Susan is once again spending a week working at the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala. Keep her in your prayers and we look forward to hearing about her trip when she returns
There is no hot water in the building today. We were told the old heater had to be replaced after the new rest room was finished. A new one was purchased and low and behold, the old one gave up the ghost before we could replace it. It will be installed tomorrow.
JORDAN HORNE TONEY
Jordan came forward last Sunday to ask our prayers as she deal with head injury related problems. She is receiving care, but needs to know God is there for her. Jordan is Marie Barnett’s brother’s child.
Our sympathy is extended to Debbie McRoy in the sudden death of the daughter of a special cousin of hers. The funeral was in Tennessee.