Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I
said, “Here am I; send me!”
--Isaiah 6:8 NRSV
I listen each week to a podcast hosted by two actors who were on the TV show The Office (the American version). On this week’s episode they shared about two crew members who ran craft services--all the food served each day for the cast and crew during filming of the series. These stars of the show were in tears describing the care and love these two men offered each day as they served meals. Both men knew what each cast member preferred and they prepared the food with joy. One star described the experience as if “your beloved grandfather made a meal just for you.”
It caused me to think about the difference we make in each other’s lives when we live out of our joy and serve others. These caterers were not the stars of a TV show nor would they go on to star in movies and win awards. Based on the example of Jesus, such humble acts of service are actually greater in God’s eyes than the ones which result in walks down red carpets. When we touch other people’s lives with joyful service, we are celebrities in heaven.
If you grew up singing hymns in church like I did, you probably know the 1981 hymn “Here I Am, Lord”,” also known by its first line “I the Lord of Sea and Sky.”
I, the Lord of sea and sky
I have heard my people cry
All who dwell in dark and sin
My hand will save
I who made the stars of night
I will make their darkness bright
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night
I will go, Lord
If You lead me
I will hold Your people in my heart
I grew up thinking that the calling of God represented in this hymn was to some major cause or quest, perhaps to being a missionary or a part of some movement. After all, the hymn is inspired by Isaiah 6:8 which tells of the call of the prophet Isaiah. Perhaps it is all that, but not only that. What if God’s call is also to do what we consider to be ordinary things, humble acts of service. What if God’s call is to live out every moment possible sharing joy with those we interact with at work, school, home and our social lives? Jesus taught us our understanding of what greatness looks like is upside down; those who are the last and least are actually the first and greatest.
If God’s calling is not just for Christian superheroes, but for “ordinary” people doing “ordinary” things, then that means God is calling people like you and me. It means God is always calling you and me every day and every night to serve others with such joy that they are moved and even transformed by it.
Our acts probably won’t result in making a celebrity cry or say our names on a podcast, rather our recognition will be even better. God knows our deeds and remembers the good that we do. Let us say with joy, “Here I am, Lord” as we go about our days sharing the joy of serving others in God’s name.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Chase Peeples
We're Park Hill Christian Church in KC MO. We seek to follow Jesus by praising God, loving those we meet and serving the vulnerable.
6601 Northwest 72nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64151 | 816-741-1851