Sunday, February 28, 2010

You Gotta Serve Somebody...

You may be a state trooper,
you might be an young turk;
You may be the head of some big TV network
You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame;
You may be living in another country under another name.
But you're gonna have to serve somebody,
yes You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

~ Bob Dylan

It's Lent, that season of change in the Church when we are given an opportunity to remember, reflect and repent. To repent is to accept the need to change, to admit reality, to avoid denial of wrongdoing and start taking steps to remedy and renew the situation, the relationship, the heart. Obviously remembering and reflecting are crucial to this journey. Which is why Lent can be such a gift to a family, a community, a neighborhood, a home.

For Lent at Anchor this season, we're remembering what many including Bob Dylan have written and sung and preached and learned: you're gonna have to serve somebody. For you, who's it going to be?

When we pause to consider it, there are lots of people we serve: family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, teammates, classmates, etc. For some of these people, it's a joy to serve them, for others, not so much. Once we realize that we're already servants to many others, it doesn't have to be a hard step to serve God. For all the people we want to serve well, serving God is the best way to serve others best.

For some of us, we aren't just servants to other people, we are also slaves. We are enslaved to the opinions and attitudes of others, their judgements and critiques. We are enslaved to our addictions, addictions to approval, to pleasure, to success, to substances, etc. We are enslaved by tragedies of our past, by our expectations of the present, by our fears of the future. We are burdened, we are oppressed, we are chained down, we are afflicted in so many ways. And into these situations the Lord comes to set us free. This is the story of Exodus, of God coming to rescue the Israelites from the Egyptians.

God came to the Israelites while they were slaves to Egypt, and offered them freedom - a way out of slavery. But this kind of delivery is built upon a relationships - the Israelites trade slavery to Egypt for servanthood to Yahweh. Israel isn't set free so they can do anything they want, Israel is set free so the Lord can make them His servants. Israel is to be a kingdom of priests, God's nation in the world to bless the earth and everyone in it. Quite the different vision than Pharaoh had for the Israelites.

Who do you serve? There are lots of people that you serve, people that you'd like to serve better. Choose to become a servant of God, this is the best way to become the best servant you can be to others. It's also the way you find freedom from what enslaves you, from what burdens you, from what oppresses you. God sets you free from slavery of the mind and of the heart in order to make you His servant of love and shalom in the world.

You gotta serve somebody. Serve God and become somebody able to set others free. Remain indecisive about serving God and you will miss the rescue attempts - both for yourself and those whom you could help. God needed Moses to rescue the Israelites. God needs you to rescue your family and friends, your neighbors and coworkers, your teammates and classmates.

Will you let God rescue you? Let God rescue others through you. 

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