Called to serve… wherever we are.
It has been a great experience to visit different churches for Sunday
worship. Different places, different people, different worship styles,
different languages, different denominations, but in the core, with
the very same purpose.
A couple Sundays ago, I went with Molly (my roommate) to a church in
Downtown… a “mega-church”. Free coffee from a famous coffee store,
ushers with matching t-shirts in the parking lot and church hallways,
video projections and neon lights all over the place. “Contemporary”
worship music, sermon video, and more music. A couple people even
accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.
That’s a lot happening in no more than 1 hour and a half time span! It
was a good experience but what caught my attention was something after the worship service.
We got into the car, drove around the parking lot (following the
instructions of the church staff - Disney parks parking lot style)
and, when we got out, the street was packed with homeless people
sleeping on the sidewalk. I’m not lying when I say there were more
than 40 people.
It made me think about the church role in the community. I’m not
saying that the church we went to is not doing anything there, but the
image was so ironic and contrasting that it shocked me. We were so
comfortable in AC, dressing in nice clothes, sitting in fancy benches
in a fancy place and the outside reality was so different.
Then I saw this cartoon:
-“I want to serve you, God! Where are you?”
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:34-40)
Maybe I’m more aware about homeless people around me because I’m working with them here, but what is really a worship experience?
How many times do we see Sunday worship as the place we go to only on Sunday morning? Or we define it by the time we receive an experience with God?
For a moment I thought about how many times I’ve been focusing on
other elements while there’s someone in need next to me. How many
times I’ve been searching for an experience with God without
identifying with others need.
What a huge responsibility to serve -and worship God - wherever we are.
Now… a funny short video