Call to Worship
1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” As we worship together today, let us be thankful to God for the blessings which have been poured on us. For the gifts which we have received and reflect on what we have to offer to others.
Narrator: Raise your hand if you love summer. What is your favourite part about summer?
[Have children raise their hands and invite a couple of them to respond]
Well I love summer because you get to wear sandals! Put your hand up if you love wearing sandals. I just love the way it feels putting on my sandals after wearing boots and socks all winter long. In the summer, you can wear sandals anywhere, to the beach, to church, to your friend’s house. And, it feels like you barely have anything on your feet!
While there are many great things about wearing sandals there are also a few bad things about them. For example, after wearing sandals all day long, how clean are your feet when you take them off? Probably not very clean. And I bet they are pretty stinky! That boot and sock that you wore all winter was keeping your feet clean but in the summer your feet get dusty and dirty in sandals.
In Bible times, people didn’t have socks and shoes. Some people didn’t even have sandals! So people’s feet were really, really dirty. However, a new tradition formed because of it. Whenever you went to someone’s house, one of the servants would wash your feet.
Would you want to wash other people’s dirty feet? Do you think your teacher, or your principal or your soccer coach would want to wash your feet? It is not a very fun job. So it was pretty surprising when Jesus knelt down and washed his disciples’ feet! Can you believe that? The Son of God, the King of Kings was washing dirty feet.
Why do you think He did that?
[Have children raise their hands and invite a couple of them to respond]
Washing dirty feet was one of the yuckiest jobs, but it was not too dirty for Jesus. If Jesus was willing to wash feet. We need to be willing to serve and love others just like He did.
Let’s pray. Dear God, sometimes it can be hard to serve others. Help us to do our best serve and love others just like you. Amen.
Adapted from: https://www.childrens-ministry-deals.com/pages/object-lesson-servanthood
LEADER: Lord, You call us to service; to be your eyes and ears, hands and voice in this, your world.
RESPONSE: Open our eyes not only to the beauty and love which you create, but the injustice, hate and suffering that humankind generates.
LEADER: Open our ears not only to the chattering of this coming week, but the searching, fears and questioning of all whom we shall meet.
RESPONSE: Open our hands not only to those we choose our lives to share, but in welcome, love and fellowship to all who draw near.
LEADER: Open our mouths not only to speak platitudes and simple words, but the truths you lay upon our hearts. Your Word for this, your world.
ALL: You call us to service, to be your eyes and ears, hands and voice in this, your world.
Written by John Birch, found at: http://www.faithandworship.com/liturgy_Lent_3.htm#ixzz1lkU9wBx2
Scripture: Romans 12:1-2 and 9-21
World development indicators for 2019 suggest that almost 80% of those employed in the Canadian workforce are employed in the service industry. The Canadian service industry includes everything from software development to fast food and many things in between (i.e., transportation, financial services, health care, construction, banking, communication, retail, tourism, and government, to name a few!).
In The Salvation Army, we also know a little something about service. The Salvation Army is the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in Canada. One element that The Salvation Army believes is essential to service is love. This is evident in the work of The Salvation Army and that is why this sermon focuses on love at the heart of leadership.II. Exposition of the Text
A. Paul invites us to follow Jesus’ example of offering ourselves as living sacrifices (Romans 12: 1-2).
b. “…This is true and proper worship” (v1). Worship is not only what we do on Sunday. It is also the way we live. We worship God by giving ourselves in sacrificial service to the Lord.
Body: As physical beings interacting with a material world, we have the opportunity to demonstrate Christ’s love through our actions.
Mind: When we accept Jesus as Lord of our lives, we change the way we live, how we view each other, and what motivates our actions. We also know God loves every one of us regardless of the life choices we have made. Thus, part of the change we make to our lives is loving others in the same way. So, we serve with love and without discrimination.
B. Paul outlines what “love in action” ought to look like (Romans 12: 9-21).
a.“Love must be sincere” (v9). Sincere love breeds compassion and allows us to “see” those we serve as God sees them.
b. “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (v10). Our relationship with God, and our knowledge of his great love for us, is our motivation to love and to live in relationship with each other.
c. “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” (v11). We can serve in Christ’s name with enthusiasm by allowing God’s Holy Spirit to be the agent who inflames our passion for the Lord’s work.
d. “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (v13). Serving others, also means welcoming and walking alongside them.
e. “Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position” (v16b). Jesus is our best example of what it means to serve with humility. In Matthew 20:25-28, Jesus specifically called his disciples to follow his example:
“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
C. Illustration (Provide an illustration of a service opportunity within your ministry unit and/or community.)Example:
At Regina Haven of Hope, one of the great opportunities we have to serve without discrimination is our weekly “Lunch with Sally.” Each Thursday we open our doors to the community and provide a bowl of soup and a sandwich to anyone who wants or needs it. Those who join us as guests and volunteers come from all walks of life, but whether they are serving or being served, what they share in common is that they are each created and loved by God.
We have guests who are caught up in difficult circumstances including addictions, mental health issues, poverty, and homelessness, as well as some whose sexual preferences don’t align with our biblical beliefs. But no matter who they are or in what situations they may find themselves, most, if not all, would testify to the fact that they witness “love in action” when a staff member or volunteer places a bowl of hot soup in front of them.
We don’t ask them to come through a food line. Rather, we invite them to take a place at the table and be served in Christ’s name. And I can testify as one of those servers each Thursday, that I have had many opportunities to talk with people, to build relationships and to love them as Jesus loves me—a sinner saved by grace. It is a beautiful opportunity to worship God through sacrificial service.
III. Conclusion and Application
A. How can we demonstrate love in action? (Adapted from Richard Foster’s, Celebration of Discipline)
a. The service of common courtesy – acknowledge the value of the other person by using peaceable, considerate words: “yes, please” and “thank you” (Titus 3:2).
b. The service of listening – we do not need to be trained in the skill of attentive listening to listen well. The most important requirements are compassion and patience (James 1:19).
c. The service of bearing the burdens of each other – deep love is shown when we help carry each other’s suffering (Romans 12:15). We can also help alleviate the sorrows of others by bringing them to God in prayer (Galatians 6:2).
d. The service of sharing words of encouragement – a word of encouragement offers hope and shares the grace of God with one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
a. What is your motivation for service?
b. In what ways are you serving others by being a living sacrifice?
c. What are some new ways you and your corps community can serve with love?
May the Christ who walks on wounded feet, walk with you to the end of your road. May the Christ who serves with wounded hands, teach you to serve each other. May the Christ who loves with a wounded heart, help you to love each other. When you go out, may you see the face of Jesus in everyone you meet and may everyone you meet see Jesus in you. Amen.
Resource found at: https://saministryhelps.ca/Toolkit/if-you-care-reach-out/