“If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Josh 24:15
Serving is an interesting concept. From restaurant waiters to tennis players, “serving” takes on many meanings. The Internet reports (so it must be true, right?) that Gene Robinson “served” on a grand jury hearing drug related cases. That is, he served until his name was called as the next case. He said, “That’s me!”, and excused himself from the courtroom. The grand jury indicted him and he was arrested in his home shortly thereafter. It seems that our judicial system served him well!
Scripture describes the act of serving as a choice – a conscious decision to place someone else’s needs before your own – or as a way of expressing loyalty to another. What does it look like to “serve the Lord” as a family? Here are a few ideas:
1. Worship together – a consistent form of Biblical service is the simple act of worshipping God. Going to church together and participating in a faith community qualifies as an act of service. Worship declares that your family has chosen a Lord, a faith, and a set of values by which to live.
2. Help together – Our world promotes “self-service” at every turn. Serving others can fulfill some of the most basic scriptural instructions, like feeding the hungry, offering clothes or shelter to those in need, expressing compassion to the hurting, looking out for widows or orphans. Serving as a family counteracts our cultural tendency toward self-absorption.
3. Take “self” out of “serving” – When we serve, our motives can often gravitate toward whatever benefits we get from helping others. The notion of serving, however, involves self-sacrifice. Giving, helping, and blessing take on the image of Jesus when the “benefits to self” are removed from the equation. As a family, look for ways to serve that can remain anonymous. A bag of goodies left on a neighbor’s doorstep with a note of blessing can be a fun way to build community and a Christ-honoring sense of serving into our children.