"Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 20:26b-28

          As you have read the past few months, we have a congregation mission statement which says, “We / desire / to serve / all people.”  We have been dissecting that mission statement the past two months with December and January to go.  In October we covered the word “We”. In November we covered the word “desire”.

          This month of December, we will be entering into the church seasons of Advent and Christmas. These are church seasons where the next phrase in our congregation mission statement, “to serve” is exactly what Advent and Christmas are about.

          The idea of serving is a foreign concept to humans. We do not fully know what it means “to serve.” The idea of “to serve” came down to us from heaven in the person of our Savior Jesus Christ—our “Immanuel,” “God with us.” He laid out what the phrase “to serve” means in the faith, hearts, and lives of us as believers; in the words of both Matthew 20:25-28 and Mark 10:42-45. He lays out not only in word, but also in action, what it means “to serve.”

          He did not only speak of it, He showed us how “to serve.” Becoming true man in His conception in the womb of Mary was the greatest act of service. He set aside His glory, majesty, and praise in heaven so that He could “be born under the Law to redeem those under the Law,” that is us.

          He was born as an infant, raised as a human child by His earthly parents, Mary & Joseph, living life day in and day out as any other human being did except “He was without sin.” He delivered Himself up to the cross in death to pay the debt of our sin “with His innocent suffering and death.” Three days later He rises from the dead to triumph over our final enemy death. By grace through faith, we have forgiveness of sin, life, and heaven.

          That’s what we mean by “to serve.” Jesus said it Himself, whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.” That is what we desire to do. We desire to serve as He served—not placing ourselves first but last and making ourselves “slave of all.” We follow in His footsteps desiring by the power of the Holy Spirit to serve as He served us in His life, death, and resurrection.

          This we desire to do—"to serve” by following His example by the power of the Holy Spirit to serve as He served us in His life, death, and resurrection.

          Next month, who we “desire to serve”—“all people.”

Shalom in Jesus our Risen Messiah,

Pastor Peter M. Peitsch