Hope: Discovering Life through Service

This year, the Point family is exploring the theme of hope through many different lenses. Last month, we talked about hope, discovering life through hospitality; this month, we are talking about discovering life through service. I don’t know about you, but most of the time when I think about service, phrases like, “How may I help you?” and “What do you need?” come to mind. These questions are great and important ones that should remain a part of the Christian vocabulary, but I think that stopping with these questions leave us short of a full definition of service.

I can’t help but think about 2 Samuel 9, where David shows kindness to Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth has lost his father Jonathan and his grandfather Saul, and if that wasn’t bad enough, the text says that Mephibosheth was crippled in both of his feet. Despite all of these obstacles that came up in Mephibosheth’s life, he found comfort and peace in David through his kindness. David opened his house to him and even went the extra mile to feed him from the King’s refrigerator as well.

This is a perfect example of service in my mind; the reason is because both David and Mephibosheth build up one another through their friendship and time spent together. It would be easy to read this story and think that Mephibosheth is the one being served by David,  who is the king of Israel, by the way. But I would say that David is getting to experience the richness of service here as well.

Biblical service is intimately tied together with spiritual growth, and while you can experience growth by spending time with God on your own to a degree, you are actually built up more if you are enhancing the lives of everyone around you through service. The word for service in the New Testament is where we get our word for deacon in the English language, and that word means, “to wait on tables.” When I hear this and begin to think about David and Mephibosheth’s story, I think of the powerful king David preparing a place at the table for Mephibosheth, serving his food, and cleaning for him after he is finished. In my mind, David does all of these things despite having servants on hand. And the reward for both of them is a rich friendship that in its purest form reveals something to them about God and his kingdom that they otherwise would not know.

None of us have the power of kings and queens, but we do have resources that can be used, big or small, to enhance the lives of others around us. May David’s example spark a desire within us to not only ask how we can help, but to also make ourselves available even if it costs us.

Written by Bryant Stinson, Senior Biblical Studies & Preaching Major