Summary: one of a series on Building Community
Building Community - Serve One Another
"A community is a group of people who matter to you, and to whom you matter."
I grew up in a community where everyone knew everyone else’s business and no one thought a thing of it - because we cared about each other.
I grew up on Cherry Street in a small town in Northern Michigan.
The town was so small that the downtown stores were only on one side of the street - really!
It was great place to grow up.
We had a nice (small) library a couple of blocks from where we lived and a there was a great five and dime store downtown where you could really buy stuff for a nickel or a dime.
But best of all there was a drugstore with a counter where you could get a real cherry coke or an unbelievable chocolate malt.
The principle of the school lived next door and the school was 2 blocks away.
Once I got in trouble and was sent to the principal’s office. The minute the final bell rang I sprinted for home hoping to get there before the news of my day in the school office arrived - I didn’t make it.
That’s a small town for you.
The kids in my neighborhood didn’t just have one set of parents - they also had a town full of babysitters keeping an eye on them.
We even a whistle system to call the kids home in my neighborhood. Three shorts on the toy whistle that hung by the front door called the Stacy kids home. Two shorts and a long brought the Schwartz kids running. The Scott kids snapped to attention when they hear three longs.
I don’t know who came up with the whistle system (I suspect it was my mom - she is so organized that her spice rack is alphabetized!) but when we heard those three short blasts we knew (along with everyone else in earshot!) that it was time to go home. "Now!", as my mom would say.
If we pretended that we didn’t hear the whistle somewhere between 3 and 23 kids would say "Hey, your mom wants you to go home." So... we’d go home.
This kind of community - where everyone matters to you and you matter to everyone - is a very rare place.
When you find a place like this - make it your home.
That’s why I love being a part of the Meridian Christian Church.
It’s why I enjoy my Home Group. It’s why I love our Celebration Service on Sunday mornings.
It’s why we serve one another...
It’s why I have such a good time stuffing clothes into plastic bags during the clothing drive for the Ukraine every fall.
It’s why sitting back and watching the Worship Ministry practice on Sunday Morning is so much fun for me.
It’s the reason that the setup team works so hard to put up tables in the foyer.
One of the places we see it the most and where it is very important is in the Children’s Ministry at MCC.
There are a lot of people who are serving our children and their parents every Sunday in our PromiseLand and Nursery. All kinds of people serve though Puppets, music, activities and lessons.
We have a wonderful Children’s Ministry at MCC and in the next year it’s going to get even stronger!
We build community by serving one another
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love." - Galatians 5:13
Whom Shall We Serve?
We shall serve those who are physical burdens. We are speaking of physical burdens where people are unable to change their circumstances.
There are people around us who are hungry, thirsty, without shelter, struggling with illness, imprisoned.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
These are needs that come from disruption due to war, death, divorce, and disease, and detention.
These are basic physical needs that must be addressed with outside intervention.
1 Timothy 5:3-16 gives some very clear guidance in how to care for a widow.
3 Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.
4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.