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  1. 1. Experiencing God in Service
  2. 2. Service• St. Matt 20:28 – “Just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.”• We too must serve Humanity and God• Manavaseva MadhavaSeva – Service of Humanity is service of God• Deaconate Ministry of the Church – to wait at the tables, to care for the neglected. Deacon of the Deacons
  3. 3. Service• Service cannot be a program item• Not a narrow minded social activism• It is an attitude with flows out of love for God and His creation• It is an understanding of the true mission of the Church to witness Christ in the world
  4. 4. I. We must be crucified with Christ • “Either the Church preaches the Crucified Christ or it crucifies Christ in its preaching” • 1 Cor. 1:23 – “We preach Christ Crucified” • Why was Christ crucified? • Christ was crucified for the sake of the World. • “God so loved the world.” • It was an act of compassion towards the world.
  5. 5. I. We must be crucified with Christ • Jesus identified himself with the poor • His birth is into the midst of turmoil. Palestine under occupation • Born in a manger b/c there was not a place to stay in • Covered with swaddling clothes… • Had to flee to Egypt as a refugee • Grew up in the outskirts – people of the Land. (can anything good come out of Nazareth)
  6. 6. I. We must be crucified with Christ • Raised by a single mother • Did not own anything (Son of Man has no where to lay his head.) • Rode in borrowed colt. Last supper in a rented room • St. Mary recognized this : “He has filled the hungry with good things” (St. Lk. 1:53)
  7. 7. I. We must be crucified with Christ • Christ had compassion on the hungry crowd – he was concerned about their physical needs. Compassion is to share in the suffering of. • He did not see the suffering of another as something exterior to himself. • In fact his purpose was to alleviate their pains….the cross is the culmination of that effort
  8. 8. I. We must be crucified with Christ • At the onset of his public ministry – “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (St. Lk. 4:18-19) • “Go and tell John what you hear and see : the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to the them.” (Matt. 11:4-5)
  9. 9. I. We must be crucified with Christ • Christ emptied himself on the cross. He poured out all that he was for the benefit of humanity. (Philippians 2) • We too are called to empty ourselves and to die on the cross for the sake of humanity. • Life of voluntary poverty. – Monastic tradition (Fools for Christ’s sake – Cyrus Sir) • Rich must live simply so that the poor might simply live
  10. 10. I. We must be crucified with Christ • Our mission in the world is the same as that of Christ. Church is an extension of the incarnation. God is enfleshed in church. Feeling the pains of humanity • St. John 20:21 “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” • Apostolicity – sent to serve
  11. 11. I. We must be crucified with Christ • Through the Cross – Christ reconciled humanity and brought peace – “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. • Peace building mission of the church. – “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.”
  12. 12. I. We must be crucified with Christ
  13. 13. I. We must be crucified with Christ • Christ was crucified for creation as well (Rom 8) • What is our response to the present ecological crisis? • Is it one of voluntary poverty seeking to renew the creation • St. Silvan the Athonite : “The heart that has learned to love has compassion for all creation.” • “Even if I cannot carry the cross let me at least walk in its shadow.” – Baba Amte
  14. 14. II. God Desires Justice • In service we experience God b/c God desires Justice. • 6 With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? • 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? • 8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:6-8)
  15. 15. II. God Desires Justice • “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24) • Christ’s salvific work is to bring justice to the world. • “Thy kingdom come.” We are still living in our kingdoms but the reign of His Kingdom is one of Justice
  16. 16. II. God Desires Justice • We need to bring Justice to others b/c God was just to us. • Exodus experience • Kindness to strangers • “to do justice for the orphan” – Psalm 10:18 • “the whole church must offer the whole Gospel to the whole world, to those nearby and to those faraway, and concern itself with the whole of man and the whole of human life.” St. Athanasius
  17. 17. II. God Desires Justice
  18. 18. II. God Desires Justice • In service of humanity we see the face of Jesus • Mother Theresa – “Even in the Leper – face of Jesus” • The experience of worship should lead to this work • Words of early worship related to service – deacon, liturgy, sharing of the bread, koinonia, • “Liturgy after the Liturgy” • “let us visit Christ, serve Christ, feed Christ, offer hospitality to Christ, honor Christ.” (Gregory Nazianzen)
  19. 19. II. God Desires Justice • Serving in the church’s ministry is a service as well • Giving your time, energy and resources to Church’s work. • Ex. Small group leader – study Bible, study Faith, devote time, pray for young, steps out to build them in faith • Ex. Music ministry – not performance but a heart of worship. • Ex. Becoming secretary of church. Not an administrative position alone. An opportunity for you to serve.
  20. 20. St. Matthew 25:31-40 :• 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 40And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,* you did it to me.”
  21. 21. • I was hungry and you said, “Population explosion”• I was sick and you built mission hospitals into which I cannot afford to enter• I was naked and you made costly clothes I cannot afford to buy• I was homeless and you built palatial house for yourself and dehumanizing huts for me.• I was in prison unjustly and you fought for human rights for yourselves• I was thirsty and you made Coca-Cola to exploit my thirst• I was a stranger and you practiced apartheid and caste- ism and racism against me• O Lord, I am tired : I cannot endure it anymore• O Lord, give me the strength to change the world
  22. 22. II. God Desires Justice• Through our acts of service we become the 5th gospel.• God calls each of us to serve in the capacity that we are in.• 2 Cor 3:3 “you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God..”
  23. 23. Action• Do we need to go to India or Africa?• We can serve God here.• Identification with poor, compassion for the oppressed, life of voluntary poverty, peace building mission which comes out of a genuine desire to experience God by being Crucified with Christ and ardent desire to work for justice