The Church: What We Do
2 Samuel 24:10-25
But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” And when David arose in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, “Go and say to David, ‘Thus says the LORD, Three things I offer you. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you.’” So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall three years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.” Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.”
So the LORD sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning until the appointed time. And there died of the people from Dan to Beersheba 70,000 men. And when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the calamity and said to the angel who was working destruction among the people, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, “Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”
And Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, raise an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” So David went up at Gad’s word, as the LORD commanded. And when Araunah looked down, he saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. And Araunah went out and paid homage to the king with his face to the ground. And Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be averted from the people.” Then Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.” But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.
Article: We Serve Together
By Jon Merkling
Have you ever been on a mission trip? Or done a service project with a group? One of my favorite trips I ever went on was to serve in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. My college ministry sent a big group down to New Orleans to help with cleanup and construction. We cleaned up the wreckage where homes had been completely destroyed, put a new floor in a church building, and put new roofs on several houses. It was exhausting work, but something interesting happened on that trip: I got to know the people I served in a deep, meaningful way. There was something about serving in that way that brought us together in a way I had never experienced before.
When it comes to our church, serving brings us together in a similar but even deeper way. My trip to New Orleans was over in just a few days, but our church family is here all the time. The church is rooted in the community, and full of people with who we can have lasting relationships. Serving together as part of the church body then is just that much more powerful!
How does this play out in our church? There are plenty of opportunities to serve. You can serve in the kids' ministry, teaching kids, holding babies, or simply just checking people in and greeting new families. You can help play music, run sound, disciple teenagers, or make food for college students. You can show up a little early just to talk with new people. You can help serve communion, or get coffee prepped to serve before worship. You can join the prayer team. Or come play with kids on the Eastside on Tuesday nights. The opportunities are endless!
We can also serve one another by visiting others to the hospital, organizing meals after a new baby, helping people move, or providing rides to the airport. And in your own communities, there are several ways to serve together: shared mission projects, reaching out to neighbors, or through inviting people for meals Through serving together, friendships form, relationships are deepened, and discipleship happens as church members share experiences together.
The church is Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27) and we are fellow workers in God’s kingdom (1 Corinthians 3:9). Therefore, we have the privilege of serving God by working alongside each other to serve those in and outside the body. And by doing so, we can develop deep, meaningful relationships that can only happen by working together, shoulder to shoulder. So, if you are a church member, let’s serve God together! Find a place to serve and dig in! If you are not a member, we invite you to be part of the family, and serve God with us!
Ephesians 2:10 - For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
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