Service: Witness to Love

Dearly Beloved,


On this Veteran's Day, I can't help but think back to Sunday and how deeply moved I was as we shared the names of veterans in our families and lives. As I listened to voice after voice, name after name, from grandparents who served in WWII to parents, siblings, you yourselves, cousins, spouses, friends and children, I thought of what it means to serve. Of course on Veterans day, we remember and honor those who have served in our military and the tremendous physical, emotional, spiritual, and familial sacrifices veterans and their families make. 

It also got me thinking of other ways in which people serve and sacrifice so much: teachers and educators, health care workers (especially right now during this pandemic), first responders, police officers, social workers, caregivers -- whether caring for people in their families or at their workplaces, foster parents and indeed all sorts of parents and grandparents and guardians, and I know there are so many more unlisted here. We serve one another because we believe that our collective good, the common good, is more important than what is convenient, comfortable or easy for us individually. We serve on another because we care. We serve one another because we believe that individually and collectively, we can make a difference. We can make our world better.

And I'm struck by all the ways so many people in our congregation serve one another -- from recording special music to making phone calls and sending cards, from showing up for (and often organizing and leading!) our church meetings to offering space for outdoor worship, from sharing with our youth to witnessing to the whole congregation the power and movement of the Holy Spirit in your life. One of the reasons I love this congregation, one of the reasons I LOVE being a part of this community is that showing love through service is something you all simply DO. It's as if it's in this congregation's DNA, part of our identity. 

And it inspires me. You inspire me. Your love for and service to one another and our wider community reminds me of the very last line from this Sunday's scripture reading, that "We are God's offspring" (Acts 17:28). And God is closer to us than we think -- not confined to temples, cathedrals or churches, not needing to be served by human hands but instead desiring to be in relationship with us. God doesn't need us but God wants us. God wants us to seek -- and service to one another, love for one another, is certainly one of the best ways I know to seek and find the holy.

So thank you. And this week, may you remember that in God we live, move and exist (Acts 17:28) and that service is one of the ways that we can seek and find our maker. 

With love,
Thandiwe