Dear brothers and sisters,
This week we are speaking about service. Ephesians 5:21 says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” The word “submission” in our everyday life might seem insulting to our egos, because it can sound like we are called to be weak or a doormat. However, in family life, in the sports field, or at work, think about how many times we already leverage time and energy for the benefit of others. Let’s call this, “mutual submission.” Jesus says in today’s Gospel, “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward” (Mark 9:41). Even a small act of service will make us feel rewarded! Some of us have a servant’s heart and are always thinking about others; others (if we are honest) like to be served. How do we develop a deeper servant’s heart? The idea of “mutual submission,” leveraging what we have for the benefit of someone else, challenges us to think first about others – simply to make a habit of asking one question, “How can I help?” This one question can change the dynamic of our homes and offices. Sometimes we’re afraid to ask that question because we fear taking on more than we can handle, or fear being taken advantage of. However, we must remind ourselves constantly that we serve “out of reverence for Christ” (Eph 5:21). Jesus modeled for us “mutual submission.” In small groups this week, imagine applying this principle at home and work, and how that could be transforming step you’re called to take at this time.
What does the word “submission” or “submit” mean to you?
The principle of mutual submission described in Ephesians 5:21 is sometimes difficult to do in our lives. Why do you think it’s so hard for us to be submissive to others? What would it look like for you to submit to your boss, employees, husband, wife, kids, friends in your prayer group?
What do you have that you can leverage for the benefit of someone else at work, at home, at church, or in your prayer group? How will you do that this week?
How do you currently serve your family and friends?
Are you serving in a ministry here at St. John’s, or in another setting outside the church? If not, why not? If so, what’s your ministry and how has it impacted your life?