Last Sunday, I shared from the Gospel reading about the blessing of service.
In the reading, Jesus is talking to His disciples and reminding them that their life of service will be a blessing to those they serve and to them as well.
Because service is a gift that keeps on giving.
To illustrate this, I shared from my Fallen Leaf Lake experience.
As you may or may not remember, Pepsi and I, when we are at the lake, commit to being Ambassadors of Kindness.
Two things about being an Ambassador of Kindness to understand.
First, kindness is not about being nice.
It is about being useful.
That’s what the word means in the Greek.
When Paul writes that love is patient and love is kind, He is saying that the act of kindness has an intention of usefulness to it.
Second, an ambassador is a representative of something or someone.
It is not the thing itself, but a representation of it.
For Pepsi and me (and for all who follow Jesus), we are ambassadors of Jesus’ love, grace and mercy.
To which we are called to witness.
As a representative of Him.
An Ambassador for Christ.
So, an Ambassador of Kindness is a representative of the intentionality of the kindness (usefulness) of Jesus.
Again, this is what Pepsi and I commit to while at the lake.
We go out of our way (or at least with what would be expected)
to be kind to all who are around the chapel.
We make sure people know they are welcomed at the chapel.
We give them a history lesson and show them all the neat things about the chapel.
If someone can’t find the Angora Lake Trail (which runs through an easement on the property), we make sure they know it is fine that they walk across the property to get to the trail. Most of the time, we give them helpful hints and tell them about the things that they will see on the trail.
And what good does this do?
I has a ripple effect.
I’ve seen it.
It changes attitudes.
It blesses others for the day.
Makes people, for a moment, feel better about the world they live in.
What are they used to?
Being told to get off others property.
Being ignored and left to their own investigative skills.
Being given attitude like they don’t belong
(especially in a place that is expensive to live like Fallen Leaf Lake).
We all know what that’s like.
But when we engage with others.
When we act like an ambassador of kindness,
This changes those around us.
For the good.
And it changes us too.
Like Joy so thoughtfully shared at the 10:30 service last week when speaking of our Tuesday night guests, it is usually us, in our service to others, who are on the receiving end of the real gift.
This is my experience too.
That’s why we can say service is a gift.
Both to the intended recipient and to us.
And why, as we continue to grow into being a Spiritual Community of Care, we should remember that our acts of service to others changes lives. And that this will have an impact on us, our church community and the larger community.