We were on our way home from India (two ten hour flights), and as we were boarding the plane they have you walk through First Class…mocking you, taunting you, saying to you, “Don’t you wish you could enjoy this cabin with all its amenities?” “Yes I would, thank you!” And as I dream of stretching out enjoying the attentive service and special foods, I get shoved into my ‘coach’ seat with just enough room to remain in the fetal position and pray for a congenial person to sit next to me. Well, as we buckle in and watch the very informative safety video and demonstration, the plan takes off, all the while wondering how life is in First Class. As they reach a cursing altitude a friendly voice comes over the speakers thanking us for choosing the airline and reminding us to use the lavatories in our cabin (aka don’t go up to First Class). To emphasize this point a big curtain is pulled, snapped into place and a red rope is secured saying, ‘Only First Class beyond this point.’
What is going on in there? We already were enticed with envy as we saw the bigger, nicer seats and special slippers set out. Maybe they are trying to curb our jealousy. Yet, we can smell the different food that wafts right through the boarder of the ‘haves and ‘have-not’s which comes out about an hour before us ‘second class’ people get to eat. One flight I was on some time ago actually served fresh baked cookies that filled every cabin with the wonderful aroma of melt-in-your-mouth goodies. It made your mouth water, but no cookies for us economy-class people. It was as if they were almost teasing those of us cramped in this “you only get to smell the cookies class.”
Well as I sat there thinking about this division, this barrier, this clear separation of people, I noticed something. The partition was not impenetrable and there were people who actually passed through this social barrier with great ease. It was not those passengers in the Frist Class cabin, for the screen was to keep them from mingling with us common people. (Though I think they could leave their mount Olympus for a moment and come down to coach to grace us with their presence, I really don’t think they want to. I think the air up there is easier and sweeter to breath at least that is what my highly imaginative mind brings out.) But there were people gliding though that divider. You have already guessed who they are…the flight attendants…the wonderful servants that make our flight as pleasant as possible (more so for those is the elite class of course).
I noticed an amazing thing about these people. These servants have the power to pass through such barriers. These servants have an audience and influence that most everyone in that plane could not have. As I thought about the influences of servants, it made me think of how God used that fact all through the Bible; Joseph (Genesis 37-47), Nehemiah, Daniel, David, and I could go on and on. But the greatest example is Jesus.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Not only that we are called to serve others;
Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
Matthew 20:26-27 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave–
When we serve our family, friends, city, and community we have the opportunity to be an influence because we are not held back by many of the social and invisible barriers. We get to walk right in and interact. Now what we do and how we let our life influence others is a whole other posting/email, but know that serving takes us beyond the barriers and even the red rope.
One way we here at Cypress Church seek to break down those barriers between people and the church and people and God is to serve in our community. We have such an opportunity at the annual Cypress Community Festival on Saturday, July 28th. The city needs help setting up from 6-9 a.m. on the 28th. Cypress Church needs volunteers to serve in our booth to distribute water, Christian literature, and information about our church from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. We could also use some help setting up our booth the night before. If you are interested in volunteering for this event, please contact George and Lynn Pardon at 714-827-3585 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Serving others and taking on the call of being one of God’s servants will take us beyond most barriers and open up many opportunities for us to share the life changing message of Jesus through words and actions. It is the year of emphasizing being a quality and responsive servant of the Lord. I hope you will continue to join me in seeking to improve our compassionate service and reach out to our community and beyond with the great love of God.
Seeking to Go Beyond the barriers through service with you,