Monday, October 9, 2023

October 8 Sermon and Announcements


October 8, 2023

Who Wants to be a Servant?

Mark 9:33-37

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.

Pastor Larry


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.

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