Monday, December 3

advent 2007

Our theme song, “Congregation Arise,” has really caused me to consider what that concept means. Two phrases loudly resound in my heart: “Go Forth” and “Show Forth” that Jesus Christ is here!

My question is WHERE? Where do I “go forth” and “show forth”? What? What are we to do when we walk out of church each Sunday? Is “going forth” only a matter of giving money for others to do the work?

Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of our Savior. When we celebrate Jesus we cannot leave him in the manger. We are also celebrating his adult life. We are celebrating his example and his teachings. We are celebrating that he has chosen us to be his feet, his hands, his ears, his mouth in our world. Jesus left us with directions and perfect examples of how to “go forth.” Read John 13 as a part of your Advent devotions.

So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he had around him. John 13:4-5 (NLT)

Jesus got dirty, and sweaty, and wet! Jesus rolled up his sleeves, put on an apron, and got down on his knees to do the job that no one else wanted to do; after all, it was really a servant’s task. Jesus modeled “going forth.” He gave us the answers about Who, What, and Where we are to serve others.

Who? The homeless man, the tattooed teen, the divorced single mom, the lonely septuagenarian, the terminally ill friend . . . the list goes on and on.

What? Whatever is needed. A gift card for a meal, a friendly smile, a ride to the doctor or, maybe just visiting or cleaning a house.

Where? RIGHT HERE. In our square, in our city, and in our neighborhoods. We don’t have to ride a bus or take a plane to minister.

As your gift to Jesus this Christmas season ask him to give you eyes that see and ears that hear. Ask Jesus WHERE he wants you to arise and serve with unconditional love. Shout the news . . . Say Hallelujah, Jesus Christ is HERE, through the way you live your life.

– Barbara Bearden

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