Saturday, 28 April 2012

Scrubbing up

Sometimes, working for a church is tough work. Working with teens in a church is even tougher. Last night we had great fun doing some modern painting using Bible passages as inspiration. The only problem was the resulting mess. Today I went into the church to tidy up. Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but it can be easy to forget that when you're on your hands and knees scrubbing mats you put down, or when a bin bag splits leaking garbage juice all over your foot, or you're washing up the cups that got put away dirty a few weeks back and started to grow things. Yes, that was my wild Saturday evening.

While on my hands and knees I was getting a bit frustrated about the attitude of some of the teenagers.* I was finding half-filled glasses every where despite asking them to put all the cups in the kitchen and paintbrushes despite have asked some one to collect them in. I was thinking how unfair it was for me to be going out of my way by coming in on what should be a day off and serving my teens. Then I realised that my grumbles were a bit petty. Mark 10:45 tells us that:
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.
Here I was moaning that I was serving a bunch of absent minded teens, when Jesus came to serve the very people that would have him crucified. This reminded me what an awesome privilege it was to be able to, in my own small way, offer an act of obedience to the God of the universe. Yes, we are called to serve. This isn't because someone is holding a gun to our head, or telling us that we are bad people if we don't, or we're being bribed by the promise of heaven. Even if I didn't clean up after the teens I would still get to heaven and I've still be made pure by Jesus' death (although I would upset the people who next came to use the room). I do it because I am grateful for what God has done for me.

Like I wrote in a post a while back:

I have received salvation. It's amazing. It's free. Stop complaining.

* I love my teens. For the most part, they're really helpful and lovely and I know how lucky I am as a youth worker. I don't want you to go away with the impression that they're a handful.

1 comment:

  1. There's nothing like a good bit of scrubbing to remind you how amazing Jesus is. When I was on my gap year, I remember quite often feeling most close to him when cleaning the boys' urinal! Thanks for the reminder of those lesson's God taught me then :)

    Also, a practical lesson I learnt. Never do the bins whilst wearing flip flops.


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