Anyone is Someone
Serving in and through a local church family is a natural out come of a life growing in Christ. At Lakeside we believe as you come to know Jesus and follow Him, your heart will be shaped and impacted by what impacts the heart of God. It is all too easy to by-pass growth in relationship with Jesus and jump into service in His name. When we do this, we run the risk of confusing our motives. Am I serving others in Jesus name to impress and make Jesus love me? Am I serving others as a result of the love I experience in my relationship with Jesus?
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is different than any other world religion’s message. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is an announcement of what has been accomplished. All other religions offer advice on how to make one’s self right with God. An announcement of what has been done versus advice on what one needs to do. We must be careful not to exchange our freedom in Christ (grace) for another set of obligations/rules or law that requires us to serve in order to be accepted by God. Churches are very good about proclaiming freedom from the law only to bring their people under bondage again to legalism and rules.
All this to say, as Christians we don’t have to serve, we genuinely get to serve. Jesus’ example of leaving the glory of heaven and the presence of the Father to come into the human experience as a man shows us what selfless service looks like. Jesus then bids us to follow Him into serving the needs of others for the glory of God and not ourselves.
At this table (the church family at Lakeside) we embrace the opportunity to serve others with joy. We serve because we follow Jesus. We asked God to reveal the needs of our city (Kirkland, WA). City officials came back and told us we could help by opening our facility for an Emergency Women’s Winter Shelter. We were preparing to open the shelter for 90 nights when the body of a homeless woman was discovered in the alley behind our church. She died on a bitter cold night near one of our doorways. Sadly, this woman remains a mystery and has not been identified. Her death while tragic has galvanized our resolve to be a source of hope and help in our community. Her death is a wake up call.
We serve the city by providing a warm and safe place of refuge for homeless women; but, can we do more? I asked the members of Lakeside to search their hearts and see if God was prompting them to serve others – if God was, I encouraged them to respond and follow Jesus. If they couldn’t think of a place that God had put on their hearts in particular; serve the homeless women of Kirkland with us. As of this past weekend the Sophia Way (the organization that runs the shelter) needed 65 meals for the 90 day stay at Lakeside. I believe we can fill all 65 of those days by working together to bring meals and drop them off for the ladies. The link to sign up to bring a meal is https://signup.com/client/invitation2/secure/1922673/false#/invitation
Genesis 1 and Psalm 139 remind us that all people are image bearers and beautifully created by God. These homeless women who will find shelter inside of Lakeside are beautiful in God’s eyes and worthy of the dignity and respect we try to give them. Jesus told His disciples when you serve the least among you – you serve Me. God is reminding us that anyone is someone because we’re created beings, known and loved by God.
Let’s follow Jesus into serving the needs around us. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. These women need us and we’re the light of the world and salt of the earth as God’s people following Jesus. It’s not very complicated. Don’t dismiss this because you’re too busy. Examine your schedule as well as your heart; does it reflect God’s agenda or simply your own? If you’re not following Jesus, you can look the other way; however, if you say you follow Jesus – follow Him.
Saint Francis of Assisi is quoted to have said, “For it is in giving we receive.” You are created in the image of God and when you live into your true calling (following Jesus) there is an indescribable joy that comes from doing what Jesus would do. You were created for this. Have fun!