You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.Galatians 5:13
How many of you are getting a little stir crazy in your homes? Yep, I am too. I guess you’re not if you’re considered “essential”. Let me tell you, these essential workers deserve something special for what they’re doing. The way they’re working, the hours they’re putting in, the risks they’re taking. It’s truly remarkable. They’re simply not cut from the same cloth as the rest of us. I read an article today, I think it was CNN, about how more than 40 workers at a plant designed to make materials to protect health care workers LIVED at their work for 28 days to keep up with demand. Let me read that again, the LIVED at work. I know I’ve often felt like I’ve lived at my work but these people literally slept at their job. Do you want to know how their loved ones saw them? They had to drive by and wave and honk their car horns and hold up signs. Over 40 workers for 28 days, away from home, a lot of them probably right down the street from their loved ones, putting in 12+ hour shifts around the clock.
It’s easy to sit at home during this global situation and feel helpless. Did you know that? It’s okay to feel helpless, that doesn’t make you weak. I was listening to Max Lucado in my car and he made a comment that the COVID-19 pandemic for our generation has the same global impact that World War II or even the Great Depression had on past generations. What do you think about that? At first I was thinking, “I don’t know if I agree with that”, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. This is a slice of time in your life that will forever alter the way you interact with the world moving forward. I don’t think anyone can deny that. Things will not, can not, should not go back to the way it used to be, the status quo.
The other night I was trying to put myself in the shoes of one of our medical professionals and it got me thinking about what keeps an obviously extremely loyal hero from abandoning ship? I mean, what keeps them from dropping their tools, the name badge, the hair net and just getting in their safe car to go to their safe homes to their safe families? Then it occurred to me, the only thing that would keep me there is an absolute unselfish love for those I’m there to serve. Wow, right? And so now all these doctors, nurses, drivers, factory workers, and more that seem to have a death wish and hurl themselves into danger with reckless abandon aren’t actually crazy, they’re displaying attributes that are indicative to Jesus Christ Himself in serving from a place of love. Jesus did this often, didn’t he? Probably the most well known is Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, but there was also the time Jesus entered Peter’s house and Peter’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever. Jesus went in and touched her hand and the bible says “the fever left her.” (Mathew 8). Then there were the few times he arose people from the dead, obviously Lazerus, but there was Jairus’s daughter in Luke 8 who He took by the hand and said “Maid Arise” and her spirit came back to her. Oh! And that whole “dying for our sins” thing was pretty remarkable. And yes! Jesus did these things out of an amazing love He has for all of us, but He was also setting an example for how we are being called to live our lives as well. …over 40 workers for 28 days.
Jesus actually had a lot to say about serving others, see if these fit any of the essential workers you know in your own social circles:
“So now I’m giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John 13 34-35) Why is Jesus calling us to love one another? So that it will, what? “Prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Another one from Isaiah 58 10: “Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out of darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” It goes on to say in verse 12, “Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a restorer of homes.” If you had a family member suffering from COVID-19, how badly would you need someone to come in and rebuild and restore your home? This is what we’re asking of our essential workers. It’s a tall order and not to be taken lightly.
One more, and one of my favorites. Write this down and tape it to your mirror at home. From Mathew 23 11: “The greatest among you must be a servant.” The greatest among you is a servant. Where would we be right now without those brave enough to serve? “Those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Jesus spoke those words.
How can we serve? There are some people we know that need us right now, maybe just to cheer them on, or show your appreciation. They could be co-workers, or friends. Maybe a neighbor, a family member, or just someone you see at a bus stop, but they need us all right now. It’s time we step up like Jesus and serve from a place of love- and I’m not asking you to raise people from the dead or give your life for the sins of humankind, but let’s start small and manageable and send someone you know who has been working around the clock a message of hope and support- I feel like that’s something Jesus would have done. Or if you feel called by God, send a pizza to your local hospital, medical office, or anywhere else people have put their lives on hold to serve the rest of us. I know we’re all suffering in our own ways right now and I want to pray for you this morning, but we all have something we can do to serve. Time, talent, or treasure? What can you give?
Over the next few weeks I really want to turn this site over to showing little ways we can help serve each other because it is so, so important that we honor Jesus as His hands and feet. I don’t know your schedule or your means, but I know Michelle, Giovanna, and I do more than our fair share of sitting around and so we will be finding ways to make a difference and posting them here.
I would like to ask all of you to please join us in finding ways to serve your community- and I want to encourage you to send me a few pictures and a little story about what you did and why you did it. I would love to post it on this site as well as my social media outlets, not to shout any of our praises, but in an effort to show how doing small acts of service can make a big impact in our own little worlds.
Service is biblical. Jesus showed love for us by example through service, and it’s our turn to show the same love. Be the example.
By the way if you want to read the article about the 40 workers, you can find it here: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/20/us/coronavirus-workers-go-home-trnd/index.html
I wouldn’t mind finding a way to celebrate their sacrifice. Open to ideas!