Jesus could have been the busiest human being in history. His divine authority over all things–especially demons and diseases–attracted crowds in need of deliverance and healing wherever he went. His schedule could have been full from the moment he woke up to when he crashed in exhaustion. Sometimes it was. But Jesus’ rhythms of life reveal the calling that drove his schedule. It was not high productivity or a maximized itinerary but the mission for which his Father sent him. John captures this in his gospel as he describes Jesus’ bearings that informed his shocking act of washing his disciples’ feet: “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him” (John 13:3–5).
Jesus’ sense of purpose and focus defined his activity. This example should challenge us when we find our schedule filled with activity. If you look at our church’s calendar over the next month, there is lot happening. There are multiple weddings, opportunities to serve our neighbors, and opportunities to hear about God’s work in Africa (from the Tracys) and to the homeless in our city (Nathan Smith, preaching next week). We will have a community worship service, a men’s retreat, a child dedication service, and will be actively seeking God’s direction about hiring a new worship leader. Simply reading this list leaves me feeling exhausted!
Busy seasons like these necessitate a reminder of our purpose and focus. Why are we here? What drives these activities? What should we be experiencing amidst the busyness? We have boiled our understanding of the Scriptures’ teaching on this down to five words: we exist to glorify God. We believe that God exists to glorify God, God’s creation exists to glorify God, our redemption exists to glorify God, and our activities exist to glorify God.
The next month’s events can actually help us tease out what it looks like to glorify God in real time. At weddings we celebrate the covenant relationship between a man and a woman in which God’s faithfulness and sacrificial love can be experienced and displayed. Our opportunity to engage our neighbors on Halloween can be a time to show God’s grace and desire for relationship in practical ways. When we join other churches to serve our neighbors and worship together it can magnify the unity of the Father and the Son, as Jesus prayed it would in John 17:20-23. When our men retreat to beautiful, rural environs, it gives us the mental, emotional, and spiritual space to evaluate whether our lives and leadership are for God’s glory or our glory. When we dedicate our children publicly, it challenges us to make our homes places where God’s grace and truth are taught by our words and deeds. When we seek God regarding our worship ministry, it reminds us that the highest priority of our church is not style or size or structure but God himself–who he is and what he has done for us in the gospel.
As we engage in the activities of the next month together, may we experience what it means that we exist to glorify God.