Acts 6; Deuteronomy 28; Job 17
I used to be a waiter. I’d take peoples’ orders, bring their food, refill their coffee, tea, or water, and then clean the table when they left. It wasn’t an easy job and I enjoyed interacting with people. One lasting effect it’s had on me is that I tend to tip very well because I know how hard the job is. The early church had a problem with serving food to their widows. The church realized that the normal channels of charity would be cut off because of their faith and so they worked to take care of those who could no longer care for themselves. In that process, questions of discrimination arose. The Jews from Grecian roots were complaining that their widows were being overlooked while the widows from Israel were being taken care of. The church had a problem. The church solved the problem. They elected a group of waiters of Grecian descent to take care of feeding the widows. (We call them deacons now and make it an exalted term in the church, but let’s face it: they were waiters. The name “deacon” even means servant.) “So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.” (Acts 6:7) The result of that was that the church continued to grow. Even more interesting was that many priests committed to following Jesus. I can’t help but think that’s because they saw faith acted out the way they believed it should be. As the world looks at the church today, they see a lot of self-serving leaders who get all the publicity. That’s going to happen. Followers of Christ today need to remember our heritage of serving those in need. When people see us serving faithfully, they will focus more on the people they know who are followers of Christ than on those the media portrays as followers. When we serve others instead of ourselves faithfully, we will see more people come to follow Jesus.
Lord, remind me that it’s not all about me. Let my life be one of service to You by caring for others in need. Let my life reflect Your love and grace to people who need that.