Acts 6:1–7; 1 Corinthians 12:4–11; 2 Corinthians 9:1–15 (read online ⧉)
One of the struggles that the church as in this day (without COVID-19) is people to serve. The seven that were chosen by the people and deputized by the Apostles had a particular service to the widows of the community.
The Apostles set out some expectations. They would not wait on tables. We, probably, think that it’s obvious that the Apostles wouldn’t be waiting on tables. However, that they used that wording tells us that at least some of the people had that exact expectation.
Once we all return to “church” (as in the building), all the patterns that make for a worshiping and serving community will be ready for a change. This is not because anything in particular was bad, but because it is a time for renewal, and all the habits that were built up have been destroyed.
Each person has a particular calling or two for the church. It doesn’t mean that we can’t or won’t do multiple things, it just means that there are one or two that are our sweet spot between God’s call on our lives and our talents and our gifts.
Caring for one another, however, is very important, and for many, it is quite difficult. This is not necessarily because they are bad people (or even introverts), it is because they have developed habits that are less gregarious than others. The whole COVID-19 for them is probably making these habits worse. They may well be the ones that struggle the most when we get back together.
The other interesting and frustrating part about COVID-19 and physical distancing is that creates an uncomfortable, and almost irreconcilability to the call to serve one another and to stay away from each other. Many people need service, but yet to be responsible we are to stay away.
Some have found a balance. Some haven’t. Yet, it is something we all need to wrestle with, and this will still be the case when we come back together. When we come back together may indeed be the hardest to find a way to serve each other and yet maintain our distance.
※ Prayer ※
Lord Jesus, you commanded us to love one another. Help us to figure out what that means when we are torn between things that seem to be opposed. Let the Holy Spirit guide our hearts and minds so that we are able to share and experience the loving grace and mercy of God the Father. Amen.
※ Questions ※
1) What is a new thing you could do to serve others? What is a new thing you could do to serve the church?
2) Are any of the above something you could do now? Why or why not?
3) When you think of church, are you primarily serving, or are you primarily being served? What can you do to “flip the script”?