… in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant … (Philippians 2:3-7)
One of the good things alongside all the challenges of Covid over the last couple of years has been the growth of Church online. From the earliest days of the pandemic we, like many other churches, were able to continue to meet remotely, and we’re really grateful to those with the skills and determination to make this happen. It’s also been a way for new people to link up with us, and it’s been a real joy to see people now coming along to HTR who first came across us online.
A few weeks ago, I took part in a webinar where churches were reflecting on their recent experiences, and one issue it covered was online Services. A big question now for us, and many other churches, is how long we continue these, which was one of the questions posed to us in a survey of our members towards the end of last year. It takes effort to make them happen, but they also have benefits.
In the webinar discussion, a vicar from a North London church raised an important issue, expressed quite directly in his own words as “they can’t serve from their sofas!” Covid times have prompted many of us to reflect on our priorities and how we use our time, not least of all in relation to church life. And for some it has felt like the right time to step down from responsibilities they had carried out faithfully for a long time. But the challenge for all of us now, whether or not we’ve stepped down, is “What next?”
Jesus came to earth as a servant, and He set us an example to follow. Having taken the time to know His Father’s will for Him, He was then selfless and wholehearted in what He did. We are privileged to be called to share in the work of God’s kingdom, and have been equipped with the time, skills and gifts to be Jesus’ hands and feet, both within and beyond the walls of the church. We need to both reach out with God’s love and power, and help one another - young and old - live for Jesus. And we all have our own, special part to play in this. We just have to discover what it is!
So, if you’re stuck on your sofa, literally or metaphorically, then perhaps it’s time to stir!
Thank you, Lord, for your wonderful example of serving. Please show us where and how we can serve, and give us everything we need to respond to your call. Amen
Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash