Last night in Life Group, our topic was centered on how we view people in our life as opportunities to serve God in mission.
A phrase that stood out in our lesson was that "seeing leads to service", and that the spiritual discipline of service is a matter of developing our senses to look beyond ourselves to find ways to live in Christ's way. We don't have to do extraordinary acts of healing, but begin with an awareness of how the people in our immediate vicinity form the context for us to serve in the way of Christ.
One of our friends realized that a co-worker who was driving her crazy at work is also going to through a painful divorce right now, and that maybe Christ would call her to be a supportive and sympathetic ear rather than complaining about how she is holding up their project.
With that in mind, these are some people that have come across our path lately that we are called to serve.
A co-worker, transgendered female to male, whose past is filled with the fear of being found out and physical assault.
A woman who, after the death of her father, was forced into domestic servitude and sexual slavery in San Diego County and is only beginning to sort her life back out.
Another woman who is fleeing a co-dependant relationship that she sees escalating into a physically abusive marriage.
In each of these relationships, we have an extraordinary opportunity to display the grace of God and the power of the gospel of Christ. These are people with extreme need in our community but there are others with a simple need-- someone to listen, someone to care, someone to trust.
- How might the grace of God work through you in the lives of people you meet?
- What is keeping you from seeing the people who need grace in your life?
And finally, a quote from one of my sage teachers:
"The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creation. Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friend, is what it really means to be a Christian."
— Brennan Manning (The Furious Longing of God)