“…as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15b
This verse from Joshua is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I think I first read it as a young father, and it gave me the direction that I needed at that time. Even though I was thinking about my immediate family, Joshua is talking about a much larger group. He was leading Israel as they found their place in the promised land after Moses died. They encountered many different gods and struggled with keeping their obedience to the one true God, Yahweh. Therefore, Joshua calls everyone together to ask them who they are going to serve and makes it clear that everyone who stands with him will be serving the LORD.
As a member of the Immanuel community, you are standing with Joshua. But did you ever stop and think about what it means to serve the LORD? Jesus taught us that we are to reach out to people in need including feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, and taking care of the sick. I know many of you are involved in ministries that serve to meet these needs. But I also know that there are times when we hesitate to get involved because the commitment seems too big or beyond the time that we can give.
And that’s where I would ask you think about our stewardship theme of Living Simply and what it means to serve simply. Serving simply reminds me that I can serve the LORD through both small and large actions. When we are asked to be part of a ministry or program at Immanuel, it may seem beyond what we’re able to do. But if you’re interested with some creative thinking, you may find that it doesn’t have to be that way. For example, you may not feel called to teach Sunday School every week but maybe you can teach a class once every few months. You may not have time to spend 4 hours collecting food at one of our drives but spending 30 minutes would be a great help. You may be interested in helping with some of the technology to livestream our worship services but don’t know anything about it. Ask someone involved and there may be a way to learn about it that fits your needs. I believe too often we don’t ask or
explore ways that we can simply serve and thereby miss many fulfilling opportunities.
Serving the LORD also doesn’t mean that the activities must take place within the walls of our building. Serving takes many forms and can be as simple as having a cup of coffee with someone going through a difficult time or smiling at a cashier as they help you with your purchase. It can be working on a Habitat for Humanity crew or playing in a community bell choir or giving someone a ride so they can take part in those activities. The past few years have been challenging to get out and serve the LORD at Immanuel and in the community. As summer vacations come to end, school gets started again, and the program year at Immanuel begins, think creatively about the ways that you feel that you are being called. The opportunities are limitless and through your actions you will be showing that you and your household simply serve the LORD.
Submitted by Dave Ekimoff