Today’s Reading: Matthew 20:1-28 (additional reading: Psalm 25:1-15 & Proverbs 6:6-11)
Every year the folks at Merriam-Webster pour over thousands of publications of all sorts in search of new words or new definitions of old words. And every year they find and include many such words in the latest editions of their dictionaries. In 1982 a new word was added to the English Dictionary. It was added because of the amount of usage it received in the press and other places in the 2 or 3 years preceding that year. That word? Couch potato! Merriam-Webster defines a couch-potato as “a person disinclined to activity or exertion, esp. one who spends a great deal of time watching television.”
We live in a world that is beset with many problems that have something of alike to the couch potatoes around us; Heart disease is at an all time high, cholesterol is up, productivity is down and in this information age, we don’t read as much as we used to and as a result we don’t write or speak as well as we used to so grades in school are lower and crime is higher.
We have a similar problem within the church at large – not couch potatoes but ‘pew potatoes’. A pew potato is a Christian who makes his way into the sanctuary at every available opportunity to sit and watch what’s going on yet never involve themselves in the working of the kingdom. And like the couch potato suffering from ill health, the body of Christ suffers and becomes ill when we allow ourselves to become pew potatoes
And they do this for a number of reasons; 1. They don’t feel they have anything to offer, 2. The work of the ministry is to be done by professional full time clergy/pastors, 3. All the work is currently being done and when a slot opens up, they figure they’ll jump right in, 4. The positions of service that are available do not fit my gifts, 5. I’m too old, 6. I’m too young 7. To offer my services would be prideful, 8. The available jobs are not very appealing, 9. Etc, etc
The thing is that Jesus said in the last verse of our reading today, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.” Jesus didn’t just sit back and wait to be served, but He set us an example of how to serve those around us and how to show God’s love.
You can’t just sit there doing nothing If only half of the people on planet earth needed to hear the gospel – we’d still have 2.5 billion people to reach. God has a great work for us to do – let get up off our pews and start serving.