Over the christmas period I was reading the Liphook community magazine and remembering the events of the year: of great military events commemorating the World Wars, such as D-Day, Remembrance Day and Canada day; of the soldiers, sailors and airmen, (many professional) who were involved in those wars; and of the many men and women who volunteered to fight for freedom. Many who consequently died for our country.
What was their motivation to volunteer, and possibly be killed? Was it ‘Duty’? The desire to serve the country and prevent a potential Nazi invasion?
With the latest debacle over the role of Harry and Meghan, the word ‘duty’ has reappeared (like a long lost relative at Christmas!). I considered why I volunteered to help in church. Simple – I was asked. Duty? – no. But instead a sense of gratitude to the many members of the congregation who supported me and my family when we first came to Liphook. It was gratitude to God for so many answered prayers, and a wondrous sense of His goodness. Serving teas and coffees after Sunday services was so much fun; meeting the whole congregation individually, talking to them and learning their names! Serving teas at our twice monthly Tea and Company for seniors is pure joy, as I talk to our guests and spend time in lively conversation with the other volunteers.
It’s that Christian word “fellowship” that comes to mind.
In contrast, when I read the story of Martha and Mary…. when Jesus comes to lunch with 15 (?) of his disciples unexpectedly! And the grumpy attitude of Martha. And Mary who chooses to take time to listen to Jesus and catch up. Martha reluctantly asks for help from her sister. In my imagination only, Jesus and his friends all helped to prepare the meal – problem solved.
Of course Jesus sets us an example to follow in John 13 when he washes the disciples feet.
If you are asked to volunteer by a leader, then think and playfully consider the benefits not only to the church but for yourself too. Yes – there’s always a pressure… because there is so much need and our church is growing – but what better reason! There’s always training available, and it’s good mental housekeeping to commit to a time frame that you can cope with. It’s not forever!! (Lol). It’s just for a season.
May you enjoy volunteering with a sense of gratitude…. we have so many blessings to share with others.