Serving Changes Lives, Including My Own!

Page HinesThis week our Healthy Plate Discipleship focus is Serve. For most of us, our list of Serve activities probably looks fairly healthy! In DiscipleChurch, we will look at not only the volume of our serving but also the depth of our serving. For you, what are some of the most meaningful times you have served? How many of those times took you out of your comfort zone? Everyone’s level of comfort is different, and what takes me out of my comfort zone may be different for you. Plus, what took us out of our comfort zone a few years ago is probably different for us today.

Serving is not just about giving a person who is hungry a meal. It’s not just about mentoring a child who is struggling in school. And, it’s not just about helping to build someone a home through a local building ministry or through a foreign mission trip. In our pursuit of discipleship, serving is about whether or not WE are changed when we serve. When we allow ourselves to serve outside of where we feel comfortable and safe, amazing things can happen, especially to us. When we have the courage to serve in ways that expose our hearts to the possibility of being broken — of being split wide-open — our transformation happens. This is a transformation that can open us up to a new relationship with God that is more alive, liberating, and palpable.

For me, this transformational serving opportunity has been our community breakfast on Sunday mornings. Over the past several years, our breakfast has grown from a table in the east parking lot with coffee and donuts to over 15 large round tables in Wesley Hall and a smorgasbord of food. We have more than 100 people every Sunday morning who gather to share a meal together. Everyone gets up very early on Sunday morning to make their way from their home or their campsite to the church. Some folks prepare favorite home-cooked recipes while others purchase a variety of carefully selected goodies. There are also those who bring their gift of music and song, which is a treasured addition to the breakfast feast.

This breakfast isn’t just about serving food. It is so much more than casseroles or donuts. It’s about the friendships that have grown over the years and the new ones that are taking root each week. It’s about learning each other’s stories — the good ones and the bad ones. It’s about friends sharing with each other life’s challenges and mistakes, as well as life’s joys and successes. It’s about forevermore hearing a weather report with completely new ears because rain and cold and heat are much harder for our unsheltered friends than for me. It’s about enjoying the comforts of our homes from a new place of responsibility.

This serving opportunity has changed me. It has changed how I see my fellow brothers and sisters. It has changed how I look at my own fears and judgement. It has strengthened my resolve that all means all — all are invited and all are welcome. It has changed my understanding of scripture for how I live my life. The Bible stories about Jesus and the woman at the well, the Good Samaritan and the Beatitudes, challenge my heart in new ways.

Serving changes lives, and it is pure grace when it starts with the server!

I look forward to our worshipping together this Sunday beginning at 7:30 am in Wesley Hall with our community breakfast and then followed in the Chapel at 8:30 am.

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