Five Steps To Serving the Lowly

Christians are called to care for those that no one else does. Both the Old and New Testament authors repeatedly touch on that theme: The Torah says to look out for the stranger and alien, Jesus says to visit those in prison and give a drink of water to the thirsty, and James says that true religion looks after the widow and the orphan.

Last Sunday I had the chance to preach on Mark 9:30-37 and Jesus’ call to every Christian to be the servant of all, including the overlooked and the insignificant. At the end of the sermon I had wanted to include some practical steps in this quest but ran out of time. Here they are:

  1. Open your eyes to the need around us. As you read through the Gospels you notice that Jesus often “sees” individuals and their hurts and needs. Sometimes we fail to serve others because our eyes are closed or focused on ourselves.
  2. Open your heart and feel compassion for those around you who are in need. Because we live in a media-saturated society and are bombarded with with images of suffering, our hearts can become hard and indifferent to the needs of others. I want a heart like Jesus, who had compassion on the hurting.
  3. Open your ears. Listen to Jesus. He is calling us to love and serve the hurting.
  4. Open your door and get out of your comfort zone. Meet people on their turf: at the office, in a hospital bed, a bad neighborhood, jails, even in the hard places that make you uncomfortable.
  5. Open your arms, extend your hand, become involved, get your hands dirty, put your arm around people, convey the love of Christ for them.

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