Image a small community. Imagine that in this community there is a thriving Christian presence, from the same church, and a band of men that come together and meet the needs of the community. They are the hands and feet of a living faith. They cut firewood for those with stoves, cut grass for those who cannot, repair the broken, tidy the mess, etc., for those first in their church, and second for the community. They have a range of skills from carpentry, farming, wood cutting, IT, etc. The majority of these men are 60+ and a few young chaps. Who would not want to be a participant in such a valiant band of men?
Suddenly, there is a man down. The #1 enemy of the Christian is death (1 Cor. 15:26). It sometimes comes in a subtle manner and other times with haste. It causes grief, sorrow, worry, pain, loneliness, resentment, and never asks a single reciprocal word. Every Christian should revile it. Yet at the same time only we have the greener gateway past it. Anyways, the leader of this troop meets death head on. The community is devastated. Some were prepared, some are shocked. Zoom in, its a tragic thing. It is a given time to mourn. Zoom out a bit, and it was a magnificient life lived; the life of a servant. Who did Jesus say was the greatest in the Kingdom? The servant. Oh, that God would grant us all such desire to serve others.
Now what happens to that band of men? They continue their work, without that man. He is in glory. Yet there is another dilemma. Who will be next. The others are 60+ and inevitably will meet death in a couple decades, years, or even months. In reality, 10 out of 10 face it. As more men go down, who keeps up the momentum? Who continues to aid the community? Who do they look to?
The young chaps.
They should be disciples of the older. Then, they should disciple their own sons to eventually join that subsequent band of men. Finally, and most importantly, they need to be grounded in God’s economy and that economy is simply this:
The first in God’s kingdom is the last. The greatest is the servant. Jesus is our example.
“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but uto serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45)
As to that man down: Your life was and is an example to everyone of servanthood. Faith without works is a dead faith, and the faith God granted you was living and active. May your eternal rewards be many and your life remain an example to everyone who knew you. It was an honor to call you neighbor and brother in Christ.
“Tasks don’t have to be high-impact to be worthy of high effort. Most things we do in any given day are relatively low impact. The cumulative impact of thousands of low-impact test is huge. These tasks can be transposed into worship.”
― John Piper