|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Fully Alive”
Our Bible verse for today: “Join in imitating me, brothers and sisters, and pay careful attention to those who live according to the example you have in us.” Philippians 3:17 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Faith and service is a learned lifestyle”
A lifestyle of faith and service is something we learn, usually from the example of others. Yesterday I introduced you to Tim Shriver’s great book “Fully Alive”. It’s all about faith and service. Tim learned his lessons about faith and service first and foremost from the example of his parents, and also from other adults in the extended Kennedy family clan (especially from his grandmother Rose Kennedy). Faith and service were essential and foundational elements in the life of the entire family. Tim’s parents started every day by going to Catholic mass. Every day. First thing in the morning, before they went to work or anywhere else, they went to an early morning church service. Every day. That’s impressive faith.
In terms of service, Tim’s father, Sargent Shriver, was the founder of the Peace Corps and he also created, led, and supported numerous other philanthropic and service organizations over the course of his life. Tim’s mother Eunice Kennedy Shriver was the founder of the Special Olympics. It started in the 1960s with Eunice bringing busloads of special needs children to the Shriver family compound in Maryland every day throughout the summer. She called it Camp Shriver and it was intended to give the kids a summer camp experience commensurate with their physical and intellectual abilities. Tim grew up with that from the time he was three years old. Today he is the National Director of the Special Olympics. He learned about faith and service from his parents, from his grandparents, and from his aunts and uncles. They lived it out in front of him and modeled it for him.
We also learn a lifestyle of faith and service from other people we associate with. The fact is that over time we become like those we associate with and therefore we need to choose our friends and associates carefully. At Oak Hill Baptist Church, as a congregation we teach, preach, and practice faith and service. It’s simply who we are as a people. Therefore, over time it has become the case that the majority of the congregation are people of deep faith who are committed to serving others in the name of Jesus. We become like those we associate with.
We also learn a lifestyle of faith and service from the books we read, which is one of the reasons I’ve shared a little with you about Tim book “Fully Alive”. Much of the story takes place within the context of Special Olympics and people with physical and intellectual disabilities. I can tell you from personal experience that people with physical and intellectual limitations are often great examples of faith, service, courage, and perseverance.
Faith and service is a learned lifestyle, which means that not only can we learn it and practice it ourselves, but we can teach it and model it for others. I encourage all of us to do both.
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