CERRO GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
October 8, 2023
Who Wants to be a Servant?
Last week was World Communion Sunday. Jesus, the most
powerful man to ever walk the earth, became a servant to all.
Every time we share in the Love Feast, we catch a glimpse of
what Jesus’ example is like. Clearly the example he gave by
washing the disciples’ feet is overshadowed by his willingness
to be the ultimate sacrifice for all our sins. Jesus did not have to
do that, but he chose to go that far out of his love for the men
and women he created with God the Father starting back in the
Garden of Eden.
In his short novel, Journey to the East, German author Hermann
Hesse told the story of a group of men on a mythical journey.
One of the main characters is Leo, a servant who handles all the
group’s menial tasks and neds until he disappears. Without Leo,
the journey falls apart and is abandoned. Years later, one of the
original journeymen discovers that Leo, the servant, was the
head of the league that sponsored the journey. He was a
powerful and noble leader but had exercised his leadership by
being a servant to others.
This fictional parable illustrates what Jesus taught his disciples
about leading through service. When Jesus figured out that the
disciples were arguing about which one of them was the
greatest disciple Jesus showed what it really takes to be a true
leader. In the eyes of God, it takes a person willing to do what
needs to be done no matter how blessed you have been in any
one of a number of ways.
In Philippians 2:3-4 Paul puts it this way, “Do nothing out of
selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others
better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to
your own interests, but also to interests of others.”
As we look at all of the examples Jesus has given us, the
importance of being willing to serve one another stands out as
one of the most important. It is easy to brag about all the things
we have accomplished. And we should be proud of using the
gifts and talents God has given us to help others and to make
life more enjoyable for us as well. However, we are encouraged
to walk that line of being thankful for those gifts and talents we
have been blessed with, with the attitude of how great the
things we have accomplished are and taking all the credit for
ourselves. God needs leaders who are willing to, at times, take
on the servant’s heart and attitude. Yes, God does need
When Jesus challenged the disciples, he knew they would be
the ones leading the way when he ascended back to the Father.
Sometimes through the years of experience we have the “right”
to lead in certain ways. That is not wrong. However, Jesus’
example shows us there are a variety of ways to be an effective
leader. In some ways I feel reluctant to share this message with
you because I believe virtually everyone of you have lived out
this example with your life. I believe, however, we all need to
be reminded from time to time of what an incredible example
of love, mercy and grace Jesus was during his time on this
And on the heels of World Communion Sunday, it seemed to be
the perfect time for the Lord to remind me, as well as the rest
of you, of Jesus’ amazing example. It is true we can never out
give God. When things are going well, it is a time to learn and
know God is in the middle of that. When things are not going so
well, God is also there in the middle of that as well. May each
one of us use all the gifts and talents God has blessed us with to
the best of our abilities. Some have and will in the future be
called to be in leadership positions. Sometimes that will mean it
will be necessary to take a strong and direct stand. Other times
those in leadership will be best served by taking a less
aggressive position, one more like a servant.
As God continues to use us in this church and in this community
may we seek God’s wisdom and guidance on when to be a
strong leader who stands firm in the beliefs of what needs to be
done and how it should be done. And when to be less
aggressive and more willing to draw others into whatever is
going on and encourage others to use their gifts and talents to
accomplish what God is doing. May God continue to help us
understand how we can be the best person and the best church
we can possibly be. I know you all know this, but it takes all of
us working together in fellowship with God to do what God
wants us to do with our lives and this congregation. At times
that means having a servant’s heart.
May each one of us continue to learn from Jesus’ example of
how to display God’s love, mercy, grace and righteousness
wherever he leads us. When we do that, there is no limit on
what God will accomplish through us and His church right here
in Cerro Gordo.
Sunday School 9:00
October 11 7:00 pm Executive Committee
October 17 1:00 Women’s Fellowship meets at the library
Delegates needed for District Conference in Lanark Nov 3,4
Needed: Volunteers for Children’s Bible story in nursery during
worship. Please sign up in back.
Children’s message volunteers. Sign up in back.
Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362
Keep in Your Prayers
Sharon Lee Traughber (Bill’s wife); Nora Hanaver; Jonah Martina; Jan
Bower; Larry Traxler; Randy and Michelle West; Michelle’s mom; Mike
Gentry; Carolyn Hirsch; Eli Brunner; Nancy Fansler; Doug Larrick;
Ron & Kathleen Petersen; Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea Wood; Tina
Wilhelm; Mindy Sawyer; Carl and Wilma Cable; Mike and Carol
Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Shawn
Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Patty Cripe; Stacie
Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; victims of disasters;
victims of shootings; shut-ins; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren;
Ukraine; Moracco; Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
District Prayer Calendar: Pray for the Church of the Brethren Mission
and Ministry Board and denominational staff.