There is the story of a boy who already as a twelve-year-old led by example. It was important to Jesus to understand His Father’s will. District Apostle Peter Schulte from Australia was intrigued by the two last words of our 2023 motto, “with Christ”. He examines them more closely just as the year winds down to a close.
We are now coming to the end of the year 2023 with our motto “Serving and reigning with Christ”. The thoughts and impulses which this motto has provided will not become obsolete. Rather, we will continue to work with and apply them and live our lives accordingly.
Serving is something we often view with a bit of negativity. Serving can be seen as a forced act. People who serve may be seen as submissive or having a lowly role. On the other hand, reigning can be seen as a position of being in control, which can possibly be understood as power or even dominance. To our human nature, which comprises our own free will, reigning seems more positive.
The last two words of our motto, “with Christ”, soften the human influence and put a different perspective on serving and reigning. Christ is our help, confidence, and example of serving and reigning and in such a manner that it is a great joy and blessing for us and our neighbour.
As a twelve-year-old, Jesus was very clear about His passion and purpose. “I must be about My Father’s business.” Christ was not forced to serve. In fact, He did it of His own free will and was passionate about doing it. In the same account of the Bible (Luke 2), we can read that Jesus was in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions. He had a personal desire to grow in the understanding of the will of God. We can read that the people marvelled and were astonished at His teachings, which were manifested in the way He lived His life. His serving was a balance of understanding and empathy, and it was motivated by love.
The reign of Christ was evident in the clarity with which He could identify the temptation of Satan from what the will of God was. His strength was to be decisive and to put into practice that which was right. His strength was the authority in which He taught and interpreted the Scriptures, how He was able to perform miracles, and how He was able to maintain His focus on His mission as Redeemer.
Unfortunately, we don’t measure up to the example of Christ, however, the more we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us today, the more we will serve with understanding and love. We will progress to reign with a confident humility. We do this knowing that Christ is with us. This will not only bring joy to us and our neighbour but also bring joy to our heavenly Father.
We look forward to the day when in our resurrected body we will serve and reign with Christ perfectly.