Today we remember a sad day in American history. Every American, of age at the time, can recall specifics about 9/11. Each of us remember where we were, what we were doing, and who we were with. We remember the day because of what it symbolized - both what we had lost and what we have gained; both the heroes and the foes. What I choose to take from the day is the incredible way Americans of all colors, languages, and backgrounds served one another in the midst of a trying and difficult moment.
But September 11 has another significance for my personal family. It was on this day in 2011 that Hope Baptist Church of Loveland, Colorado held its first service. And just like First Baptist Church of Milford took time this past Sunday to honor civil servants for their sacrificial service, Hope Baptist Church did the same thing on that day. But another group of servants that stood out to me on that day in 2011 were the great many people from all over who came to serve that infant church - people from FBCM, people from several other churches in the Colorado area, and missionaries using furlough time to help and minister. That day was truly made possible by the great many people who were willing to serve others in a sincere way.
To my First Baptist Church family, thank you for being so willing to serve our community this week on Community Day. In following Jesus, serving others is a very Christlike discipline. Jesus "... came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, ..." (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). In Philippians 2:4-5, Paul instructed believers to have the same mind that Jesus Christ had. And what was the mind of Christ in this passage? Not thinking of Himself, but instead thinking of the needs of others. In a small way, thank you for putting on the "... mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:16) and serving others in a big way!
At the same time, Community Impact Week at FBCM is not yet over. There is still more to do, both today and tomorrow night during the Grand Finale service. Serving others may mean that my family won't be able to sit in the auditorium because of the people who will be with us from our community. It may mean the same for your family. But this kind of sacrifice and service is worth it as we put our guests first and give them an opportunity to hear the gospel!
But in what other ways can we serve our community beyond today and tomorrow? In what other ways can we serve those in our neighborhoods or workplaces this week? How can we put others first? How can we put our friends, coworkers, children, or spouses first? How could we try to understand the spiritual, emotional, or physical needs of those people with whom we come into contact in the coming days? "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:" (Philippians 2:4-5).
Written by Edward Barclay