Living Lives of Service in Response to Easter
I hope that you and your family were able to celebrate God’s victory over sin and death and His glorious resurrection together on Sunday. Thanks be to God for His life-changing gift of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ!
During Holy Week, I was re-reading and reflecting on the book of Romans, especially chapters 5-8, to reflect on the importance of Jesus’s sacrifice on our behalf. I remembered distinctly doing devotions in my first year of teaching with a class of seniors. We were reading the beginning verses of Romans 8 on the morning of Good Friday, and I was so struck with the power of what Christ did for us that I got choked up reading the passage. Now for those of you who know me, that won’t necessarily surprise you; my emotions can be moved easily. But, recognizing my own sinfulness and selfishness, I was genuinely overcome by the power of Christ’s sacrifice to free me from sin and death.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8: 1 - 4).
Therefore, because of what God did for us through Jesus Christ, we are now able to live our lives for Him. We don’t do this perfectly but — through the power of the Holy Spirit — we are able to live in ways that honor God and advance His Kingdom work.
This leads me to this question, though: What is our response? If God has saved us, how do we respond?
With gratitude, thanksgiving, and service.
Our theme this year at the middle school has been “Dream Small: Do Small Things With Great Love.” We have been focusing on doing the daily little things that share God’s love with those around us. This time of staying home in order to stay safe has shown the importance of little things: helping around the house, focusing on communications with those we love to check-in and to let them know we care, or playing a game or making a puzzle with a child. Taking the time and making the effort to be intentional about doing good for another. Our simple but important response to what God has done for us--living a life of intentional service for Him.
Our theme verse this year at GRCMS also comes from the book of Romans. We chose to use The Message translation because we liked how it expressed the idea of loving from the center of who we are in Christ. Romans 12: 9-10 says, “Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.”
It is my hope and prayer that the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, fills you with hope and love in this time of uncertainty and challenge. We serve a mighty God--one who conquered sin and death! As parents, we want our children to know and accept this reality for themselves. We also want them to understand that living in the reality of the new life that we have been given through Christ leads us to live lives of grateful service. And we also want them to understand that living lives of faithful, daily service helps us to do the little things that add up to the big work of building God’s Kingdom.
We have an opportunity each day to emphasize how all of the small choices and actions of each day really do make a difference. As Mother Teresa showed us with her life and reminded us with her words: we are all able to “do small things with great love.”