We often speak at Christ Church of the simplicity of the Jesus message. Recently in a series of messages, we talked about how we can follow him if we simply love one another and we can love by thinking about the other person first. Not easy, but not impossible. And surely our recent book drive that saw us providing over 700 books was a display of this love.
Truth is, to declare yourself a Christian without this service component is a little weak. You can recite creeds and you can come to church. But if you don’t serve others, the central theme of the Jesus message is lost somehow, or at least gets diminished, and in this diminishing we become rather hollow in our Christianity. As James said ‘faith without works is dead.’
During Lent some of us are being intentional about adding something to our lives rather than taking something away. Fasting, we realize, comes in many forms and service is one of those forms.
During the weekend of March 30 and 31, as a church, we are going to show our love and serve the homeless and those who are food insecure. On Saturday, March 30, we will assemble meals for the homeless shelter (look for more information elsewhere on the home page). On Sunday, March 31, we will have short morning prayer then go together, as a church, to assemble meals for those who are food insecure on behalf of Loudoun Hunger Relief. This will be our collective response to Jesus’ brother James.
At Christ Church faith through works is alive and well. But we can always do more, can’t we? Maybe Lent is a time to reflect on all we are doing as individuals and collectively as a community in order to rededicate ourselves to the love Jesus calls us to, in our families, in our communities, in our schools, at work.
And, perhaps we should remind ourselves that the Jesus love is for us too…we need to love by forgiving ourselves for past mistakes, by refusing to allow the world to tell us what we should look like, what our shape should be, how we should buy more stuff in order to feel fulfilled. We love ourselves when we affirm and confirm that ‘you are enough.’
Jesus calls us to ‘love one another as I have loved you’. What more do we need to follow him than that simple command?