TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said,
“It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute,
full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.
Acts 6:2-4 (ESV)
GOSPEL UNITY: SERVICE SKILLS
Lenny Skutnik had no intention of being a hero that day. The staffer at the Congressional Budget Office in Washington was having an ordinary winter day when Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the 14th Street Bridge over the Potomac River shortly after takeoff. Those who survived the crash faced death as the plane sank in the icy waters.
A helicopter dropped a rescue line to one of the survivors, but she was too weak to hold on. Lenny Skutnik saw what was happening and dove into the water. He swam out to her and pulled her back to shore, saving her life. Two weeks later, President Ronald Reagan recognized Skutnik during the State of the Union address. Skutnik was honored by the president of the United States, not because he tried to draw attention to himself but because he did what was right in a crisis.
Prior to Acts 6, the twelve apostles had apparently been ministering to widows, waiting on tables, distributing food and funds. Earlier the angel who released the twelve had ordered them (Acts 5:20) “Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life.” The crisis involving widows being served highlighted the fact that the Apostles were doing too much. Ray Pritchard said “A crisis comes and we begin to see things differently. I am told that the Chinese word for ‘crisis’ is made up of two word-symbols – one meaning ‘danger’ and the other ‘opportunity.’ That’s what a crisis is: a danger and an opportunity rolled up together.
The Apostles had been uniquely gifted to teach the Word. There were others with gifts of service and hospitality that weren’t being used. This was an opportunity for them to use their skills.
“Anyone can be great because anyone can serve.” Those are the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They remind us of the words of Jesus who declared that he did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). What are your God-given gifts? How are you using them to help build up our church family?
List a few people in our church who you have observed using different skills to minister to you. Thank God for those people and for their skills.