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Categories: Spiritual Growth Opportunities

Whom Will You Serve?

During the time when singer/songwriter Bob Dylan was considering converting to Christianity, he wrote “Gotta Serve Somebody.” In the song, Dylan introduces a wide panoply of characters—rich and poor, famous and not, people with different occupations, lifestyles and worldviews. Each chorus is followed by the constant refrain “But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed, you’re gonna have to serve somebody. Well, it may be the Devil or it may be the Lord but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”

I think Bob Dylan was channeling Jesus. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke about storing up your treasures in heaven, not on earth, and told the people “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon” (meaning money, wealth, fame, earthly possessions or anything else you trust in and rely on instead of God).

During the momentous debate over slavery, Abraham Lincoln also drew upon Jesus in the famous “A House Divided” speech. Jesus had reminded the Pharisees that “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” Lincoln wrote: “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.” It took a bloody Civil War for our country to finally come down on the right side of that terrible issue.

When confronting large and possibly divisive issues, many people tend to straddle the fence rather than coming down on one side or the other. They may do this for several reasons. Some may simply choose not to make a choice and think they are above the fray. Some may seek to avoid conflict, not wanting to risk offending others and starting an argument. And some people may be truly perplexed and uncertain as to what they believe and where they stand on the particular issue. However, straddling fences can be exhausting and difficult to keep up for long. Neither foot is firmly planted on either side of the fence and it is easy to fall off.

During communion, we are invited to come down off our figurative fences and plant our feet firmly on solid ground. We trust in Christ, follow Him only, and share the new covenant in His body and blood. The Bible tells us that we believers are a chosen people, a holy nation, a people set apart and given the Great Commission to share the Good News. While we experience trials and problems in this world, we also are given wondrous opportunities and blessings to share with others. Weekly worship and monthly communion services are such beautiful times to hear the Word, share the Lord’s Table and commune with our friends new and old.

When the Hebrew nation settled the Promised Land but struggled to hold firm to their covenant with God, Joshua reminded them what God had already done for His chosen people and said “Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshipped beyond the River and in Egypt and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Bruce Fairbairn, Elder