Preparing for Worship: Saved to Serve

Preparing for Worship: Saved to Serve

John Haralson   •   March 17, 2017

“You know... my whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted, until I discovered that my interruptions were my work.”
Henri Nouwen, in Reaching Out

Dear Friends,

I searched the internet for images of “Spirituality”, and this is one of the first ones that popped up.

Looks appealing, doesn’t it? Sitting on a sunny beach...undisturbed, uncluttered, and apparently spiritually at rest. Can I go there this afternoon?

Don’t get me wrong. As an introvert, I’m a big fan of quiet and chunks of time free from distractions. And, as a pastor, I’m an even bigger fan of carving out intentional space and time in our lives for solitude―the regular and habitual practice of being alone with the Lord. 

The challenge often comes when we want to remain in those places of undisturbed communion with God. Like Peter, we want to build a tent and camp out on the mountaintop (see Matthew 17:1-4). Like all good gifts, we have an inclination at times to turn even our healing moments with God toward self-serving ends.

This week, we will explore a great little story in Luke that helps push back on this tendency. We will see that as God works his healing and redemption into our lives, he does so not only so that we may enjoy his goodness to us. He does his restorative work in us so that we might also be able to serve others. The goal of his redemptive action in our lives is love. God liberates us to become people who love him and (very concretely) love others around us.

In other words, our life with God helps equip us to lovingly move into situations that don’t resemble a Zen-like state on a sandy beach somewhere. Instead, God is equipping us to move into real-life situations that look more like this.


This week: Saved to Serve, Luke 4:38-39

Liturgy is here

I hope to worship with you.

Warmly in Christ,

John