Thursday, March 04, 2010
Love Jesus? Or love serving Him?
If you could have just one dream come true, what would it be?
Last night I preached a sermon on church. Although I didn’t get too specific, I clearly wasn’t thinking about “Church” in the big, broad sense of the word. I was thinking about us. Here. The church we call Our Saviour Lutheran. And the question that I posed was this: Have we lost our first love?
It was one of those questions that was safe to ask because I already knew the answer. I knew the answer because I know this church. I know other churches. And without fail, every single church that I’ve ever been in, attended, served at, or heard of has in some way, in some fashion, been guilty of falling in love with something other than Jesus Christ. Some churches fall in love with Robert’s Rules of order and stick to that above all costs. Others fall in love with themselves, and start to believe their own hype. Others still fall in love with service, or ministry, or evangelism. They fall in love with the idea of serving Jesus, but somehow misplace Him in the process.
Let me tell you, I love Jesus Christ. I love Him because of the dead way of life that He brought me out of. I love Him because in Him I have forgiveness, I have peace, I have strength. I love Him because of what He’s done for my wife and for my children.
But last night and then some more today, I realized that when it came to church, the dream I had for Our Saviour had a focus that was ever so slightly misplaced. The dream I wanted to come true was for us to be a church that took great joy and fulfillment in serving Christ and serving our neighbors. That’s good, and it’s worthy of a big dream . . . but not if it means that we love serving Christ more than we love Christ Himself. Live in that kind of dream too long, and eventually even a worthy dream becomes an idol.
So, I need to tweak my focus just the tiniest bit. Our Saviour needs the same thing. Like I did last night in the sermon, we need to bring back to mind all that Jesus has done for us in the past and all that He is doing now. Jesus needs to become our first love again, because He’s the one who first loved us.