“What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants.” ~1 Corinthians 3:5
Around the table on that last night, our Lord Jesus personally washed the feet of his disciples. Then he told them, “Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing” (John 14:12). Our model is the Lord. We serve others in the name and manner of our great high priest. We do our best to imitate Jesus, the Christ, who was always with people, always helping people, always serving people. In the crush of the crowd, in the middle of the multitude – healing, feeding, protecting, encouraging. In the quiet of the one-on-one conversations at night. Weeping at a funeral. Eating with a tax collector. Holding the kids. Dying on a cross.
The Church is not an end in itself. The Church does not exist to make rules, to pass laws, to be in charge, or to glorify itself. The Church does not seek its own power or privilege or comfort. And we’re not just a support group for people who have already been saved. Just like our Lord, the Church is sent into the world not to be served, but to serve. And to give itself up for others.
We know the words of our Savior who said it is more blessed to give than to receive. And we experience the truth of that, and the blessings, when we serve others in love.
“The Church is not the end in itself.” Don’t we often think so much of ourselves that even in service, we can make ourselves THE reason or at least important enough to be required.
I’m thankful for the Word shared this morning at Morning Watch that says to the Phillipians: “The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,”
Philippians 1:16-18 NIV
Thank goodness I am not the judge and even ill motives can prove to be useful in the kingdom.