Monday, December 24, 2012

What Christmas Means to Me - Day 4

Yep, it's been a while. I was planning on writing twenty-five posts about the Christmas season and perhaps that will happen. . . next year. This year I tried so hard to avoid the diseases illnesses my young students bring in to my office every day (at least during Winter) but the bacteria got the best of me. . . no really, on top of an ear infection and horrid cough I had a "bacterial infection," at least that's what the label said on my antibiotics. So here I am on what is probably the second most anticipated day of the year, Christmas Eve.
It has been quite an interesting year for myself as I have grown and experienced many things that I was not expecting to such as serving on the high school ministry staff at my church, going to grad school after all and moving out. One of the most important things that I have learned this year is to serve. In my younger years I thought service was something one set aside time to do i.e. serve in ministry once a week or serve at the homeless shelter.
What I learned this year and what sticks to the front of my mind during this season is that service is a lifestyle. The best example of this lifestyle is Jesus Christ. 
Not only did He serve, but He did so perfectly. 
Mark 10:45 states, "For even the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many," (ESV). 
Jesus never once put Himself before others. He didn't grumble, gripe or complain. 
He was proactive in serving. Ministry was His life and He sought out ways to serve others knowing that ultimately He was serving God.
I understand that Christmas has many blessings but it can also be a burden to those who have suffered loss - whether that loss be a relationship, a job or even a life.
In light of the difficulty, fix your eyes on Jesus.
Consider how He took the opportunity to die to Himself daily and do likewise.
Serving makes us more like Jesus because it takes to focus off of us and onto those who don't know Him and gives us a heart for those who desperately need Him. 
I came "home" to my parent's house last night and jokingly said, "I'm here to be served not to serve," and received the Look of Death from my mother. I was kidding, naturally, and realized that just because I am on "vacation" doesn't mean I am exempt from service. 
Service means dying to myself daily which is what Jesus did for me. 
Since He gave up His entire life for me, it is not so difficult for me to serve a few hours in youth ministry each week or wake up and empty the dish washer for my parents or even my room mates. 
Do I enjoy unloading dishes and taking out trash? 
You bet I don't! 
But I know if I make myself do it, eventually it will be a joy and not a burden as I am doing it for Jesus. Sometimes it is hard for our heart to be in sync with our actions but if we practice serving faithfully our hearts should soon become engaged. 
For different ways on serving this season, seek to meet needs in your local church body.
I watch this video yearly in order to consider ways that I can invest in those who have been placed in my life. 

Merry {Almost} Christmas!


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