When I was a a sophomore in high school, I had hopes to make the varsity baseball team. I worked really hard in the offseason. When tryouts came along, I felt very confident about making the team. Well, I didn’t make the varsity team. I was so disappointed. I was really hoping to make this next step in being a better athlete. Instead, I played on the junior varsity team that year. Our team consisted of a bunch of rag tag freshmen, and some sophomores-not where I had anticipated spending my season. After some time, I came to the realization that being on the team was so much less about myself, than about helping the other guys so that we could play as a team. Myself and the other sophomores worked to help the freshmen improve their game. The season turned out to be one of my favorite years of baseball because the focus was not on myself, but on serving the team.
Many of us have been in similar situations. If you play sports, there are times when you help the younger ones find their way. In music, the section leaders help the younger students learn music, and march properly…and so on.
I think most of us naturally feel an inclination to lend a hand beyond sports, music, and such. In fact, most of us have done service projects, such as painting, landscape, and construction. Whether you have done it for school, a church, or on your own, most of us have lent a hand to someone else. Some of you have possibly helped down in the city, another state, or even across the ocean.
The bottom line is: Serving, or lending a hand is giving of yourself for a bigger purpose.
Most of us after having done a serving project like that feel pretty good about ourselves. We feel like we have accomplished something. We feel like we’re “good people,” or that we made a difference. When it comes to serving, or lending a hand, it’s so easy to get caught up in what we get out of it.
Jesus is a perfect example of serving, or lending a hand. Jesus, being also God, chose to come down to the earth to serve the people of it. Think of it this way, the most powerful, and infinite being in all the earth, and for all time chose to come to the earth. Jesus loved the community he served. He would go to different communities and help them out. He would educate people on how to live for God. He helped the sick and crippled get well. He provided food for communities when there was not enough to eat.
Jesus knew there was a bigger purpose to serve. Jesus had so much love for his community that he was willing to give his own life for them. You might think, why? Well, you and I, and everyone for all of time, lives in this idea of sin. What this means is that we naturally care ONLY for ourselves, and are prone to worrying ONLY about our needs. And, that’s not the way God intended it.
Jesus knew this about his community and every person who would come after him. He chose to lend his entire body for us. Well what good did that accomplish for himself? Here is what he says:
“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
There was a bigger purpose why Jesus served his community. It was so that God would get the credit. For the things we do wrong, Jesus paid the debt for them. Ultimately, Jesus died for us so that we can know God, and live our lives not for ourselves, but for God.
We really believe as a youth group that we can impact the community around us here, and all across the world. We do this not because we want to feel good, but so that God would be credited. Our hope is that in serving or lending a hand to others that they will know God and follow him.