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Serving is a Christ-like way of living.During Lent we recall how Jesus himself came as one who served. Every act of love, justice and peace is a taste of how God’s world is meant to be.

So how can we serve Jesus in today’s world? What are the challenges and rewards of doing this? Is serving always about doing something? Is Christian serving different to non-Christians who volunteer? How have you been served in the last week? Do we have any ideas about how our congregation could better serve each other – or the wider community – in the future?

These are some of the key questions that we will be considering together over the next few weeks. Our inspiration is Acts 2:45 ‘They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them.’

As we strengthen the spiritual muscles needed to practice this habit we need to remember that serving should be mutual and reciprocal – we honour others by receiving as well as giving. We need to be aware of endorsing a patronising, do-gooding culture.

Some of the activities that we will undertake together are: giving out free tea and coffee at the Cemetery on Mother’s Day, collecting new books for Wood Street Mission and practical items for the Asylum Seekers and Refugees Centre (ARC) in Blackburn, holding a Community Celebration Service to find out about, and pray for, our local area, continuing to support Fair Trade and Christian Aid, holding a Meet Your MP Event and arranging a Promise Auction.

Individually you could: join a litter pick, look out for those who serve you – and offer them a word of thanks and encouragement, read the biographies of Christians who have served or adopt a new charity.

A common danger in serving is that we become too focused on the serving itself and lose sight of why we serve. So let’s focus upon the God who looked on creation and declared it to be ‘good’ and then affirm that he calls us to do ‘all the good’we can – I encourage you to pray and live John Wesley’s words overleaf.

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