My friend, may I ask you a question? Although the world had an understanding of what it meant to serve as a slave, does it have an understanding of what it means to serve others as a slave out of love. And without Christmas, would the world today would still be ignorant of that concept?
My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
"A willingness to serve." The second great "reason" for Christmas is service. Jesus Christ did not come to be served but to serve. Although as the Lord of Lords He most certainly could have demanded it. No, Jesus came to give new meaning to the word, "service." When He was born on that cold Judean night, He was born into a world that had little understanding of what it meant to "serve one another." It was a dog-eat-dog world under the Romans. The concept of serving was a foreign idea. The Greeks didn't embrace it nor did the other great empires prior to Rome. When King Jesus came into the world, He introduced a brand-new idea, "whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave." Although the world had an understanding of what it meant to serve as a slave, it had no understanding of what it meant to do so out of love. And without Christmas, the world today would still be ignorant of that.
Here's a thought from James Packer: "The Greek word for slave is doulos (bondslave). Sometimes it means diakonos (deacon or minister); and both doulos and diakonos are synonyms. Both words denote a man who is not at his own disposal, but is his master's purchased property. Bought to serve his master's needs, the slave's sole business is to do as he is told. Christian service therefore means, first and foremost, living out a slave relationship to one's Savior (1 Corinthians. 6:19-20). What work does Christ ask his servants to do? The way that they serve him, he tells them, is by becoming the slaves of their fellow-servants and being willing to do literally anything, however costly, irksome, or undignified, in order to help them. This is what love means, as he himself showed at the Last Supper when he played the slave's part and washed the disciples' feet. When the New Testament speaks of ministering to the saints, it means not primarily preaching to them but devoting time, trouble, and substance to giving them all the practical help possible. The essence of Christian service is loyalty to the King expressing itself in care for his servants (Matthew 25: 31-46). (James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.)
This is the time of the year that we so often see the Salvation Army Red Kettles. It is also when we are most often asked to serve one another by donating our time and money to causes benefiting those less fortunate than we. It's no accident that it's at Christmas time when charity and service are most often promoted. Christmas is a time to give but Christ didn't come solely to give us an opportunity to give gifts to one another. He came to reveal to us by example the concept of serving one another out of love for Him. May we give thanks this Christmas for the gift of slavery in service to one another. To serve one another unselfishly is the second great "reason for the season" and it is our great joy as Christians.
We pray. Dear Father, thank You for Christmas and all the joy and comfort it brings to our lives every year as we remember Your gift of a Savior for sinful man. This is the time of year that we celebrate and it is also the time of the year that we often feel You love the keenest and in that understanding of freely given love, we are motivated by Your Spirit to serve one another, and especially others. Forgive us Lord when we focus too much on Christmas as a personal experience, about us, because our Savior came not only for us, but for all who would believe in Him. Move us today to touch others with the love of Christ, whether that be in charity or simply in mercy. Merry Christmas for Jesus sake! Amen.
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.