[Blessing for the VBS Workers -- have them stand and be recognized]

If you were to ask these hard working servants why they do this they may give you any number of reasons. I imagine that one common theme to all their reasons is that someone made a difference and set an example for them when they were very young.

I am teaching the Junior High Class with Gary Brown this summer. We have dwelled on the theme of people who make a difference. In preparing for the class, Gary and I both reflected on the people who shaped our lives when we were young. We recall them by name and we remember that their attitude of service and their respect for us made a difference. It’s not that we were necessarily deserving of the service. Not at all, but that’s what made the attention and instruction that these Christ-like servants gave us so noteworthy – they served us even though they didn’t have to.

Has it really been six months since we were listening to God’s word and praying about new shepherds for our church family? During that time we dwelled in a Scripture that has been very important for our congregation when it comes to understanding what a shepherd is. It has also helped understand what a disciple of Jesus does ... Read John 13

Jesus asks, “Do you understand what I have done for you?” This week I have witnessed people who understand it ...

There have been so many good people taking their own time to help out with VBS and even help others. Ed Grist showed up just in time to help me set up the cardboard synagogue. I lamented that I didn’t have time to put up the curtains, but Carlene Payne was so eager to help out with that. That was kind. That was being a servant. I see that they understand what Jesus was doing when he washed the feet of those disciples.

Bard and the youth group have been working on setting up booths, getting supplies, practicing skits. They set up these tents in the auditorium. It’s a great synergy – they have the experience and skill of the senior high and a large labor force in the junior high. Brad told me last week that they worked so hard and so well that they were ahead of schedule all week. I see that these young people understand what Jesus was doing when he washed the feet of those disciples.

This year has been especially significant for our family. For my oldest son, Wyatt, it’s his first year to NOT be one of the kids in VBS and I was wondering how he would handle that because I know he really enjoys VBS. I was delighted last Monday night when I heard him say, “I like working at VBS more than I like just going to it!” I see that my own son understands what Jesus was doing when he washed the feet of those disciples.

I know he’s not the only 7th grader facing that transition from being served to being the servant. It can be difficult, but I see our 7th graders really getting with it. Olivia Kleman approached me when I was setting up the synagogue on Thursday. She wanted to come to the synagogue during VBS and get me to write her name in Greek. “But you’re not in VBS this year,” I said. I could see that the thought kind of stunned both of us. “What are you going to be doing at VBS now that you are a worker?” I asked. She said she was a family leader. “Then you bring your tribe into the synagogue as a leader and I can write your name along with the others.” She seemed to like that idea even better. That’s when I can see that she understands what Jesus was doing when he washed the feet of those disciples.

I don’t know anyone who works as hard as Dena Jenkins putting VBS together. Well, wait a second maybe I do -- because everywhere Dena goes she has a wonderful assistant named Abbey. This last week I was asking Dena questions but on many of the questions it was her daughter, Abbey, who knew the answer! I was looking for duct tape. Abbey found the duct tape for me. Not only is she a servant, but she is competent and knows the essentials of VBS. [Duct tape is vital to VBS. One cannot have VBS without duct tape.] Abbey of course follows the example and tradition of her family when it comes to being a servant. She is doing what her mother and aunt did when they shadowed her grandmother who had worked at VBS for 40 years. But I also see that Abbey understands what Jesus did when he washed the feet of those disciples.

I am pleased that our church family is learning to understand what the Master did when he served. It’s not limited to VBS. There is a spirit of Christ-like service that is always growing in this family.

Certainly there are times that we will be served and that we need to be served. That’s as it should be. Jesus has served each of us, there’s not a one of us in the kingdom who’s a “do-it-yourself-er.” But being a servant and finding a way to serve can be intimidating. The good news for all of us is that this way of discipleship isn’t limited at all. Jesus can teach any of us how to follow him and be a servant. So maybe we want to serve, but we’re not sure how; or maybe we’ve convinced ourselves that service just isn’t our thing. Either way, the living Jesus teaches us when he washes the feet of those disciples. Just try and understand it and do what he did.

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 17 June 2007

 Link to next sermon

 Link to other sermons of Chris Benjamin