THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
THE AUTHENTIC CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY
1 Corinthians 12:12-30
Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21
Today’s readings teach us much on how to be an authentic
Christian community that can be used by God for His purposes.
First, we must be a people of worship and the Bible. We must
be in awe of God and be taught by His word. When all Israel
came for the reading of the Torah, “Ezra blessed the
Lord, the great God, and all the people, their hands raised
high, answered, ‘Amen, Amen!’ Then they knelt
down and bowed before the Lord, their faces to the ground.”
(Neh 8:6). We must learn and live out deep worship of
we must be a people of the Book, the living word of God, the
Bible. We must read it, study it, understand it, and let it
change our lives. “Ezra read clearly from the book of
the law of God, interpreting it so that all could understand
what was read.” (Neh 8:8). What was the effect? “All
the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law.”
(Neh 8:9c). The people wept, both in lamentation for their
transgressions, but also for joy in hearing God’s words.
Read and meditate on God’s own description of the Torah
in Psalm 19. For us Christians, the Bible is perfect, trustworthy,
right, clear, pure, true and just; it refreshes the soul,
gives wisdom, rejoices the heart, enlightens the eye, endures
forever, is more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey
(Ps 19:8-11). We must read and meditate on God’s
words in the Bible every day. “By them your servant
is warned; obeying them brings much reward.” (Ps 19:12).
Second, we must have servant leaders who look to God and not
to secular wisdom or ways. What are some very important elements
Desire to be holy. Desire to be rid of sin. “Who can
detect trespasses? Cleanse me from my inadvertent sins.”
to and obey only God, and not to other leaders who are not
humble or are set on their own ways and not necessarily
God’s. “Also from arrogant ones restrain your
servant; let them never control me.” (Ps 19:14a).
If God calls us and reveals to us how we are to be and what
we are to do, then we must be steadfast in pursuing those.
To do otherwise, thus failing to become the instruments
God needs us to be, would be grave sin. “Then shall
I be blameless, innocent of grave sin.” (Ps 19:14b).
to really be God’s instrument -- servant and steward,
witness and warrior. Speak God’s word and God’s
truth always. Be pure of mind and heart. “Let the
words of my mouth be acceptable, the thoughts of my heart
before you” (Ps 19:15a).
We must know who Jesus is to us -- our Lord and our Savior.
We must always cling to him and surrender our whole lives
to him, for he is “Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Third, we must be a community that is united and at peace,
and as such be able to make use of everyone’s God-given
gifts. How can that happen? We must know the basic realities
of God’s call to us to be a community.
That indeed we are one body in Christ (1 Cor 12:12).
we all have different gifts given by the Holy Spirit (1
we need each other (1 Cor 12:14-21).
we must help one another (1 Cor 12:22-24). Our authentic
concern for each other is what will prevent strife and disunity.
We look to one another’s well-being, “so that
there may be no division in the body, but that the parts
may have the same concern for one another.” (1 Cor
we are in this together, come what may, in good and in bad.
“If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it;
if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.”
(1 Cor 12:26).
must know that we have been called to be a dynamic part of
the one body of Christ, and act accordingly. “Now
you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it.”
(1 Cor 12:27).
Fourth, we are to know God’s priorities, and that is
to evangelize and build the Church of the Poor. We are about
the very mission of Jesus. He said that Isaiah’s words
were fulfilled in him (Lk 4:21). “The Spirit of the
Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad
tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to
captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed
go free” (Lk 4:18).
and his salvation is the good news. It is to be shared to
all, to the ends of the earth. We are privileged by God to
be His instruments to accomplish this. He has chosen, called,
appointed and anointed us. He has poured his Spirit upon us.
He has sent us to bring glad tidings to the poor
-- the materially poor and the spiritually poor.
Every year we have a very exciting theme. Every year the Lord
teaches us so many new things. Let us know who we truly are
to be and what God calls us to do. That is how every year,
we can “proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”