Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 1:22
Service starts with LOVE.
Jesus loved His disciples and showed His love for them through service.
Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end… so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He also demonstrated the immeasurable love of God for us through His ultimate act of service:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Love is the tether that holds us together and gives us the humility to serve one another.
Mountain climbing is dangerous business. Mountain climbers use rope tethers to attach themselves to their climbing partners. It requires the attention and the concern of every member of a climbing party to secure the safety of the entire group.
Everest was first successfully climbed in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. They tethered themselves together to make the climb to the summit. In doing so, they served each other. If one of them fell, the other could catch him. If one of them started to lag behind, the other could lend their strength and pull the straggler ahead. It required trust and LOVE to serve one another in such dangerous circumstances (the peak of Everest is just over 29,000 feet, near the cruising altitude of a Boeing 777).
In 1953, only two men had ever stood on Everest’s summit. In 2019, hundreds of adventure tourists paid guides to lead them to the loftiest pinnacle on earth. Most of them lived to share their experience, but not all. Eleven people perished on Mount Everest in the very brief climbing season in 2019.
The nature of Everest adventure seekers has dramatically changed with the commercialization of the Everest experience.
Today, rather than having concern for their fellow travelers, Everest climbers are characterized by their indifference to the needs of their fellow sojourners. The mountain is literally littered with dead bodies. Over 100 bodies remain on Mount Everest because of the expense and danger involved bringing the deceased down off the mountain.
Everyone who attempts to climb Mount Everest knows the risks going into the trip. And, especially these days, everyone who even attempts to climb Everest coughs up an astounding $45,000. Some pay much more. You can understand how someone might be a little callus toward their struggling fellow-traveler when they’ve paid a year’s salary to take a once-in-a-lifetime kind of journey to the top of the world.
Christians serve one another, not because we are tethered at the waist by a rope, but because we are tethered by bonds of love that reach to the heart.
If we aren’t serving one another, then we aren’t loving one another.
Being tethered together keeps us spiritually alive. The Strong can lend their strength to the Weak. The Helpless can find aid from the Helpers. The Worried can rest in the prayers of the Confident.
When we are tethered together with cords of love, we can all get to the goal of our journey, TOGETHER.
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