Last Sunday I met a new friend. It was his first time to come to church at St. Luke’s. When he arrived he asked someone if he could speak with a pastor. They found me and introduced me to him. I sat down with him and began to talk and found out that he had fallen on some difficult times. He had some medical problems that were preventing him from being able to work and he has now been homeless for a while. He was simply looking for a place to come to church where he could worship and pray with others.
Through the course of our conversation he told me that he was nervous about staying for the worship service because he was afraid he looked different than everyone else and others wouldn’t accept him. He was insecure about the clothes he was wearing and his appearance. I was in the middle of assuring him that he was welcome in our church for worship just as he was when one of our members brought a glass of water over to serve him. After praying with him and going back to prepare for worship I noticed other church members serving him donuts and sitting down to visit with him. All morning long I watched as person after person stopped to talk to him, bring him water and donuts, and shared a smile with him.
I’m not sure I have ever been more grateful to be the pastor of this church than I was on Sunday because of how I saw the gospel message lived out. In Matthew 20:25-28, Jesus defines greatness as willingness to serve, rather than by power and prestige. As I watched person after person serve Jerry, love him, and help him know that he was welcome I was reminded of how often Jesus did that for others.
On this Casual Friday I hope you’ll take the time to look for opportunities to love and serve others like my new friend. Seek out those who feel they are outcasts and don’t belong, and let them know that God always has a place for them just as they are. Rather than looking for opportunities to prop yourself up above others, search for reasons to serve others. For it is in serving that we can show what true greatness is.