I hung a swing in a tree in our front yard this week. It was quite an act of faith on my part after all of the crazy things that have happened to me in the past two weeks. Almost crushed by stupid plastic tables… I was raking my yard of some leftover leaves and the rake handle snapped in my hand and the end of the handle hit me right in the ear. I felt like I needed to tell me neighbors, “No, I am not drunk — I just almost knocked myself out with a rake handle, and that is why I am staggering around the lawn”… Good Grief!
So, leaning an extension ladder against a tree branch, and hanging a swing on it from twenty feet in the air felt like a bit of a risk. I mean, I had avoided a hospital visit so far, after all. Ah, but my little girl had this romantic notion that a swing from one of the trees would be joyful… so there I was… risking life and clumsy limb. And why? Because, I love to do things for her. Serving her honors her, and is a delight to my heart.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells a parable about sheep and goats. The goats represent people who are self-centered and neglect to serve those around them in need. The sheep are the folks who see the needs of Humanity around them and act appropriately. And the only difference between the two of them, according to Jesus, is what they did, or did not, do.
The point to Jesus’ story is that he expects his followers to treat other people with mercy, compassion and to serve them in love. You see, both the sheep and the goats claimed to KNOW Jesus, but only the sheep DID what Jesus expected them to do.
Of course, as followers of Jesus we should strive to be sheep — demonstrating mercy and serving in love. And while this is a heart-attitude that goes way beyond some program, as a church we desire to give our folks opportunities to be sheep as much as possible. So, on May 20, we are going into the community to be sheep.
No, we won’t be sitting in a pew and hearing a sermon that morning… instead, we will BE the sermon. Putting into practice the teachings of Jesus. You see, serving others honors Jesus, and is a delight to his heart. As we serve, may others see the love of Christ… in us.