This Sunday I’m doing something I haven’t done for about a year. And I’m nervous. Where in my last church I was on stage participating in leading worship for 7 years, it’s been a year since I was last on stage.
And this is a new church. And a new situation. With new people. And new songs.
So I’m nervous. I’m nervous because I don’t know the drill. I don’t know all the personalities. I don’t know what to expect.
It’s unfamiliar and yet, something that should be as familiar as walking (not as familiar as breathing, because I have to choose to walk and don’t do it for long stints everyday…well, you get the picture). But pretty familiar.
And I know it’s not about me. I know that and fully believe and internalize that. I am a conduit, a way to facilitate a place of worship for others. A person who worships by example. My heart knows my role.
But I’m still nervous.
But if I remember that leading others in worship is ultimately about loving others, it changes my perspective.
Love was a theme in my devotions and my devotions with my oldest this morning. 1 Corinthians coupled with 1 Peter.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:8-11
As faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
Whether I’m on stage in front of the congregation, in the nursery, feeding those in need, stacking chairs or sorting used clothing, I am a faithful steward of God’s grace.
What a privilege it is. And what a release.
Because I’m not always a gracious person. I’m not always in the mood to serve. I’m not always ‘in a good ministry place’ because sometimes I think people are kind of jerks.
But my grace, which is so very finite, is not the grace that I’m stewarding. God’s endless grace is poured out through me, through my love, hospitality, attitude, gifts, words, and service.
But if I’m to know this grace and freely pour out this grace, I need to absorb it. I need to realize my own need for God’s grace and actually accept it.
To realize that I don’t work my way to God’s love and mercy, I serve him in response to it.
That I need to acknowledge my own need for grace before I can lovingly show God’s grace to others.
Because if I secretly think serving others is my way to grace, then I’m trying to be perfect in God’s eyes without the need for God.
And if perfection through self is my goal, that leads to judgement of others’ imperfections because they’re not trying as hard as me. ‘Don’t they care?’
When I realize God’s grace to and for me, then my loving response to him and others is to steward that grace. Another translation says to administer God’s grace. I like that. Because if I’m administering something, I’m not necessarily expected to be the source. But I am responsible to share the knowledge with others through action and words.
So in my service, in my nerves and uncertainty, I point others to God’s grace. I love God and love them and the grace flows.