Saturday, December 27, 2008

Called to Serve

The Lord Calls Us to Serve

The Lord calls us to serve our present age. He speaks through our heritage to those of us in new communities where our neighbors, uprooted from former church homes, may easily drift away from religion to be counted among the vast unchurched. He speaks to those of us in urban communities where neighborhoods are changing in class and in color, and we must either serve or die. He speaks to those of us in rural churches where the community is so stable that rigid boundaries have long been drawn between the churched and the unchurched, the Brethren and the non-Brethren.

This is what our heritage says to me: "You have a vision of what the church can become – a fellowship of disciples, learning, growing, and following the Master together. You have the New Testament as an authority out of which your practice, your faith, and your approach should continue to grow. You have a plan that is sound: a keen interest in family living and an appreciation of what this basic unit of society can do to shape the world’s tomorrows. Your respect for conscience and for the religious experiences of others gives you the attitude for service. All this finds its final and dramatic challenge in the ordinance of feet-washing."

These are things which the Church of the Brethren holds dear. And since we do, we must share them or we shall lose them. A church that will risk losing its life in the service of a community will discover it has new life in its Lord. It was a wise brother who said, "If we have reason for existing, we have reason for serving."

Source: "To Serve the Present Age," Robert N. Miller, Brethren Life and Thought, Winter 1956