Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Old Twilight Zone Episode?
See here if you don’t recall, or never knew of, this episode: “It’s a cook book!”
They Also Serve Who Keep the Lights On
Although it does SEEM like the Twilight Zone these days what with so much evil being dished up as good and vice versa, my meaning of service is the complete opposite: the kind we are called to as believers tasked with the Great Commission, the kind that serves our fellow humans with the Truth, as in “The Way, the Truth, and the Life“–sans spin.
Now, if you tend to be like me, you imagine it was/is mostly the very first Disciples along with great preachers, teachers, evangelists, and people in every era who can get out there on big stages with their more visible gifts and talents and do the job of spreading the Good News of the gospel and “making disciples” thereof.
But all of us, each a part of the collective Body of Christ on earth, are tasked with this in our own ways and for our own “crowds,” be it just one or two others.
For they also serve who offer hope to the hopeless, meals for the homeless, comfort to the despondant, prayers for the sick, along with, well, cleaning church bathrooms, cooking for pot lucks, doing crafts with the kiddies, contributing to the missionary fund–and keeping the lights on. Literally.
Specifically, Service in Such a Time–and Season–as This
What prompted this post today was the second thing I thought of upon rising this morning.
The first thing was: a simple, eight-word prayer suitable for any day and season: “Show me how I can serve today, Lord.”
I mean, right?
Jesus came to serve each of us and demonstrated this every day in every possible way all the way to His one-time, unique, final service on the cross where He paid for our sins so that we, by faith through grace, can one day join Him in eternity (See John 3:16).
And as His followers, we are commissioned to serve as well, as needs and opportunities present themselves in our homes, neighborhoods, work places, and elsewhere.
And to the second thing: then it occured to me: oh, yeah, maybe I could write about this topic–especially in light of how insignificant some of our smaller acts often seem to us.
Because they are NOT insignificant.
Especially right now. Here. Today–the era to which we have been called and into which we were born.
As the global populace is increasingly besieged by the cruel manifestations of petty tyrants who take full advantage of these days in an increasingly lawless manner (read into that what you may), more and more people everywhere are looking for help, guidance, hope, comfort, and Truth.
In other words, in the foxhole of a world the power- and control-mongers are creating, people are searching for God or returning to Him, and we each play a role in that.
And for one last example of the might and light of “small services,” this one specific to the holiday season, by offering the simple, traditional, two-word greeting, “MERRY CHRISTMAS” that once seemed a kind of mindless custom along with jingling bells, “Ho, ho, ho’s,” and untangling massive clots of Christmas-tree lights, one is almost committing an act of subversion in a world full of people attempting to cancel cultures as fast as they can wield the blow-torch of censorship, add another “policy” to the bubbling cauldron of real discriminations, or burn Bibles during “mostly peaceful protests.”
But more importantly, and closer to the spiritual bone, when believers say “Merry Christmas” and GET A SMILE AND RESPONSE IN KIND, it’s an especially brightly-lit reminder and acknowledgement, in such a time as this, of the eternal hope and salvation at the core of the expression (see below)–as well as the comfort and encouragement of knowing that we are not alone.
And so (you knew this was coming) may I offer the service of encouragement today by way of this brightly-colored, tinsel-covered,
To put it another way:
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:8-14)
Image source: https://media.istockphoto.com/illustrations/nativity-in-the-desert-illustration-id842282188?k=6&m=842282188&s=612×612&w=0&h=Ql_xFro7Cn2j2_ZYC_HGIqTCf7MI_WvlVbWTeI0R-Gg=