Believe, Serve, Receive with Joy

We are in the season of renewal. We can see that in more than just the natural world, we too are very much aware of the personal need for renewal that we are eagerly waiting for as we pause, gather to rest, take time away, end a time of study, or enter a less busy period and look to be infused with positive energy after an intense time of learning, working, and growing. We also want and need to experience genuine joy as a normal part of our cycle of learning, working, productivity, and renewal, especially as servants of God.

I have read a thought about the joy that is a natural part of serving God that states, in paraphrase, "servanthood is life producing, as it energizes, invigorates, and satisfies those who give themselves over to it." I believe this and I feel that serving God has the elements of learning, productiveness, and renewal rolled into it as byproducts of the relationship we establish with God and with our fellow servants of God, and that is the source of our joy.

Even so, we sometimes lose the close connection to God, as we serve because we spend a disproportionate amount of time doing things for God to counteract the hardships that have increased amongst us. So much so that we often become prone to losing a portion of our joy due to a lack of renewal time. Or we may be afraid to commit to serving God because we believe doing so will dampen our overall joy.

We need to know that we can both maintain connectedness with God and experience sustained joy while in service for God through a balance of supportive and collaborative work, as well as regular times for spiritual and physical renewal.

That balance helps us stay better connected to the true source of our joy, God's spirit, and thus to as much servant learning, productivity, downtime with family, and fun gatherings with our fellow servants that renews us.

As we prepare to celebrate Pentecost Sunday, the remembrance of the entry of God's Holy Spirit into the world, we may be filled with questions about how this Sunday's celebration and focus on being filled with the power and joy of the Holy Spirit, impacts on us today as God's servants.

Servant ministry reflects God's love during a time of increasing dissension, unrest, and violence. We may feel sad or even depressed in the face of these harsh realities. But we are not alone as God's servants, even when it seems like God's presence seems farther away and our service for God may feel less effective, because we might be confused about how God is dealing with these problems.

Pentecost Sunday is essential to celebrate in the light of all that is going on because God is providing the loving assistance and divine companionship that we desire through servanthood but possibly have overlooked its importance because we are distracted by the events surrounding us just like the disciples were saddened and depressed in days and months after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Read Acts 2:1-21 again and be reminded of the time-honored account of Jesus' disciples being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and know that we too are filled with power and joy as servants of God by the Holy Spirit!

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