The Oasis - July 17, 2019

Author: Rev. Dan Hollis
July 17, 2019

July 17, 2019
by Pastor Dan

     We leave on the High School Mission Trip this weekend, to serve others and worship God in new and different ways. Each year, our high schoolers travel to a different community to spend a week working with those in need, rebuilding porches and stairs, constructing ramps, scraping and painting houses that haven’t been touched in years, and more. All to help those who are struggling, to do the work of God, and to learn something.
     When we are young, our brains look out at the world like we are the center of it. That isn’t an indictment of youth, it’s just a developmental truth. When we’re babies, we can’t see where we end and our parents begin. When we’re children, all we can see is a world that exists to serve our needs. If we’re lucky, we get to be  children, and never have to experience the darker sides of the world. And as we grow older, we begin to develop the capacity for empathy. The ability to see life from others’ perspectives, and perhaps even to put ourselves in their shoes.
     A big part of the Christian journey is an extension of this journey toward adulthood. Seeing the need in the world should spur a person of faith to action. Christians see this action in the work of Jesus, who came to us as a servant, offering a hand-up to the down-low, liberation to the oppressed, and love to the unlovable. Jesus could see through our eyes and see our need, and strove with everything He had to serve us. And to teach us to serve others likewise.
     The part of the High School Mission Trip that I love the most is the opportunity to build relationship with the residents we serve. The high schoolers don’t just show up at an empty house, do some heavy lifting, and leave. The program is designed so that as a part of their service the youth get to know the residents, allow the residents to get to know them, and really see the impact an act of service—an act of love—is able to have on another human being. We spend time eating and talking with them, in much the same way Jesus did, building our empathy, compassion, and humanity while at the same time building stairs and accessibility ramps.
     The journey of growth from infancy to adulthood never truly ends. Wherever you find yourself in the coming weeks, I encourage you, in the words of the Apostle Paul, to look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Build your compassion, exercise your empathy, and in so doing be a part of God’s work and God’s will for this world.
See you soon.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.  — Philippians 2:1-5

Song I’m listening to today:  “On Top of the World,” by Imagine Dragons

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