By Josh Gores
One Sunday each year, Riverlawn Christian Church participates in a worship service that is unlike most of its others. We still have communion, we still have a sermon (albeit a much shorter one), and we still have a worship set that leads us before the throne of the Lord but the Sunday itself has a different makeup to it, a different focus altogether. One Sunday each year we gather and then we go. We pack into the Auditorium for congregational worship and communion before leaving our campus to continue worshipping God, but through acts of service rather than song. The Great Day of Service is an annual event each April in which we go beyond our walls to serve our community and our neighbors, both near and far. It’s a time where hundreds of people will gather at locations all throughout our city to worship- to worship God by serving others, by being the hands and feet of Christ.
In years past, we’ve built walls that will provide sustainable and cheap housing for neighbors just a few miles away. We’ve packaged meals that will provide not only physical nourishment but spiritual nourishment for thousands of kids and their families in other countries. We’ve beautified our city’s parks, built new trails for families to walk on, and assisted in painting and yard work for those who have been unable to do so on their own. We’ve carted off limbs, filled bags with leaves, and muscled out hundreds of pounds of trash and debris.
At the end of the day though, it’s not important as to how many service hours we have been able to rack up. What matters most is not the number of meals packaged, the number of homes repaired, or the number of nails hammered into a wall.
What matters most is something that goes far deeper than that, a desire to love God and love others.
Motivated by the grace that God has shown us, grace that has rescued us from the bondage of sin and illuminated hope in the midst of darkness, we now seek to worship our Lord and Savior by serving as He would serve.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” –Philippians 2:3-5
Why would we seek to serve others? Why would we even care to look towards another’s interests when there is so much going on in our own lives? Because we now have the mindset that is ours in Christ. The Great Day of Service is truly a remarkable event but what matters even more than that is the “little days of service”, the opportunities that take place every day for you and I to love others as God has first loved us, to serve others with a humility and selflessness that springs forth from the example that Christ set when He laid down His life.