By Ps Tan Hui Ru
Romans 12:5 reminds us that “in Christ. we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Each of us has different gifts and all of us are to serve the church, the Body of Christ, with the gifts that have been given to us. Our default for this is that we should then serve in one of the functional ministries of the church we worship in — whether that is ushering, singing, teaching, being a librarian or a musician, among other roles. Serving in this way is good. It blesses the larger community of a church with the specific skillsets of each person who is serving, and it shows us tangibly what it means for different people with different abilities to work together as one. But this is not the only way to serve the Body of Christ. Serving the Body of Christ is more than (though it includes) serving in the functional ministries.
The functional ministries that we have are good things. But the functional ministries exist so that we can serve each other, and this is the better thing. COVID-19 has meant that many of the good things we have are temporarily lost, and we mourn for them. I miss seeing the smiling ushers handing me the hymnal and a bulletin, the smiles of the evening food fellowship and my extra cup of green grapes, the welcome at the Sanctuary and Dunman Hall entrances. And I know I will miss the orchestra and our annual birthday cake at our church anniversary this year. These are good things … but there is a better thing.
Serving one another is the better thing. We serve each other because we have a common identity in Christ. We love each other because God has given us a new identity as His people. Serving each other in love means reaching out to people we haven’t heard from or seen in a while, calling them by phone, sending them a snail mail. It means praying for each other, including the person who sits behind us every Sunday whose name we don’t know. It means building real relationships, allowing others to see your private selves and letting them help us as we seek to help them. It means committing our time and energy to meet with a small group regularly to study the Bible together and share our lives; even if we’re already absolutely tired of Zoom from work. It means going out of our comfort zones.
Shall we continue to serve each other?