Let me ask you a question…if you had to summarize Christianity in just one word, what word would you pick?
Take a minute to think about how you’d answer. And play by my rules. You can’t use a phrase. Just one word.
Think about it. Got your word? Ok, read on…
Nelson Searcy asked that question on page 36 of his latest book: Connect. What you’ll read below contains his answer as well as some of my thoughts sprinkled in. Here goes…
One day after church a person came up to me and asked: “If you had to summarize Christianity in just one word, what word would you pick?”
I had to step back and think for a minute. I mean, there were options there. I could have gone with the safe answer and said “Jesus.” I could have said “salvation.” I could have thrown her a loop and gone all theological and said “propitiation.” I could have said “love.”
Any of those would have been good answers, but as I thought about it more, I realized the best word to sum up Christianity is the word “servant.” Christianity is about being a servant. Jesus said to be a servant (read John 13:1-17). Paul went a step beyond servanthood and called himself a slave to Christ (read Romans 6:1-23).
I’m convinced that Jesus was keen on creating servants because serving is the ultimate expression of love. After all, when someone asked Jesus to pinpoint the greatest commandment He replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39).
Love is the greatest commandment, and service is the ultimate outward expression of love. It makes sense then that Jesus said the greatest among us would be servants (see Matthew 20:26).
Mother Teresa spoke to this truth when she said, “Love cannot remain by itself — it has no meaning. Love has to be put in action, and that action is service.” The greatest are those who allow God’s love to flow through them most freely in the form of service to the people around them.
May you and I define Christianity by this one word: servant. And may our lives be defined by this one word as well.
***Please join us this Sunday morning and Sunday night. It will be a weekend to remember as Rob Morris from Love 146 will be flying in from Connecticut to preach at our church. And this guy can preach! Then please join us again for a fundraiser at The New Rink in Shelby Township from 6pm to 8pm on Sunday night. Every penny will go toward their efforts to fight child sex trafficking. More info on both these events at tevchurch.org***