THIS WEEK'S SERMON
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Today we are saturated with marketing schemes that insist that the 'self' is more important than 'service.' Others come second, only after meeting our own wants, needs, and desires. But God's Word reveals something different. Christ's self-sacrificing service to others, in mission, and on the cross was sufficient to secure for us eternal life. We therefore ought to be encouraged through our Lord's example to set aside personal agendas and self-seeking attitudes to be of the same mind of Christ. We ought to share God's mercy and grace---willfully sharing our material wealth with others, generously employing our gifts through vocation and avocation to constantly build up the body of Christ. As Christ's love is revealed and poured out in Word and Sacrament, so may we also respond to those in need, proclaiming forgiveness and the salvation granted through Christ's own wondrous power and self-sacrifice. When disciples of Jesus answer the call to service, our Lord tremendously fills their hearts and days with blessings and meaning. This Sunday I want us to answer the very important question that every Christian is asked:
Do You Really Want To Serve?