Before coming into Chi Alpha, service was something that I did not value in my journey with Christ. I thought it was good to serve those around us, and I respected the people that did volunteer their time at nursing homes, picking up trash in parks, helping tutor kids after school and so on.
It's just something I didn't value.
Until I got involved with Chi Alpha.
Jesus, however, does value serving and loving those around him and he gives a great example of this in John 13...
Jesus does something very unprecedented--he humbles himself to do the work of a person that had very little significance. He took on the role of a servant, a foot-washing servant.
Foot-washing was very customary back in the days of Jesus. Everyone wore sandals (or sometimes no shoes) and would travel by foot wherever they went. When they came home or went to a friend's house, they would be greeted by the servant who would wash their feet after a dusty, dirty day's work.
For us today, we would offer someone a hot beverage on a cold day, or a cold drink on a summer day if they were to come over.
Here in Jesus' situation, though, no one is making the move to wash everyone's feet. They all knew it needed to be done, but no one was willing to make a move. Jesus, full of love and having authority to the nth degree, shows us that we should do as he has done. He isn't saying that foot-washing is the rule and not the exception. Rather, he's saying that the heart and attitude behind foot-washing is what is needed in the disciples' lives. When he does this for us, he's showing that love goes the extra mile.
When I was part of Chi Alpha at UVA, one of the aspects of ministry was tabling. We would give away free lemonade and have a whiteboard and write questions on the board to dialogue with students about topics of interest.
A girl was walking by on her way to class and she stopped by. I told her about Chi Alpha and invited her to come to the meeting that night. She said she would think about it and left.
She didn't come that day we met, but she did come the next week! I saw her come in with some girls that she knew and saw a transformation begin to take place in her life. She started worshipping God, getting involved in a Core Group, and doing some awesome things for God.
Eight months later, we're standing with 130 other students from Chi Alpha chapters up and down the Atlantic Coast on a beach in Nags Head, NC. We're standing there because she's sharing her testimony of what God has done in her life and how she's now ready to get baptized!
One of the first things she mentioned in her testimony was how I had been working the table, serving students, and how that was her first contact with someone that had invited her to take part in a journey with God.
I love serving those around me because I've seen the fruit of it firsthand. Not every experience I've had since has led to someone making leaps and bounds in their journey with God, but you never know how impactful it can be to love those around you with the love of Christ.