Hey team, glad to be joining you on this final session as we are rounding home plate here on our core value of servant hearted. So wanted to just touch on a couple of things that I found in scripture lately that really speak to me, and I hope they may to you as well. We oftentimes hear the verse out of Psalm 102 that says, “Serve him with gladness.” And oftentimes we hear people shift that into “Serve with joy.” or “Serve with a joyful heart.” I don’t know about you, but there are days where that seems hard. Whatever it may be that’s going on or seems like everybody needs something, it seems kind of hard to sometimes do that. So I just want to give you some encouragement.  

As I’ve been studying recently, I’m in the book of Mark right now, I’m going to read a little bit of scripture from a couple stories for you, and then I’ll talk a little bit more about this. In Mark chapter 1, the two stories are separated in the Bible by different headings. But if we think about these two stories together, I think it sheds a little bit more light. Starting in verse 35, the section heading says Jesus Prays in a Solitary Place. It says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, let’s go somewhere else- to the nearby villages- so I can preach there also. That is why I have come. So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.” 

Then there’s a section break. And then we go into the heading, Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy. Verse 40 starts, “A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean.” Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. “  

I’ll be honest, I have never thought a whole lot about the word “indignant”, but it’s never conjured up positive feelings to me, so I had to look it up. And Webster will use words like annoyed, furious, heated, or livid. So even Jesus, in that frustration where he wanted solitary time to himself, but everybody was seeking him, even Jesus had those real feelings, but he still served. 

So I just want to encourage everybody that I know that we are pulled on and stretched as we’re in ministry, but I think at the end of all of this, if we can hear Matthew 25:23, “Well done, good and faithful servant, “ I think we have hope in that. So well done, everybody. I’m going to give you a couple of questions to just think about.  

  1. Share an experience with your team when you served but it didn’t feel “joy-filled”, but you still did it.  
  1. What are some ways that may help you serve more joyfully when you’re not in a good place?  

So I give you all encouragement, have a great week, and we’ll talk soon. – Nancy