Christ’s Resurrection and Your Small Little Slice of Service
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Each year a new batch of servants stand before the altar and promise to serve to the best of their ability with the help of God. The brief installation rite ends with a blessing that reminds the servants that as they abound in the work of the Lord their labor is not in vain. The people who have committed to serve will do so in areas as diverse as from Sunday School to finance. There will be times that they struggle to find volunteers or pay the bills. Conflict may even arise during their time of service. Each task and meeting will not always be welcomed with gratefulness by those around them. However, their work is not in vain.
What is most striking about these words of St. Paul are that they are found at the end of 1 Corinthians 15, “the Resurrection chapter.” After a long and detailed explication of the significance of Christ’s resurrection and the promise of our own, St. Paul applies the resurrection to our small little sliver of service in Christ’s kingdom. No matter where or how you serve in Christ’s Church, your service matters. From the altar guild and ushers to the junior high youth leaders to the nursery volunteers, our work has significance because Christ has risen from the dead. Christ’s triumph over sin and death gives purpose to our labors and means that they have eternal significance. For everyone who serves in our congregations is ultimately God’s instrument of service for the sake of His kingdom.
There are days when we our service to Christ is hard. Whether we are beset by fears or frustration, conflicts or doubts, our work matters because Jesus lives! His resurrection is the reason why we serve and the reason why our deeds matter. So dear friends, “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
Prayer – Lord God, heavenly Father, we pray that You would raise up servants for work among Your people. We humbly implore You to grant them, by Your Holy Spirit, the gifts needed for the faithful carrying out of their tasks, most especially, wisdom, strength and willing hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan