Community Services: The Least of These
Audio Visual room with sound effects
Superintendent enters wearing (appropriate) sleeping wear (robe) and says,
Welcome to our Community Services Day today,
We greet you in the name of Jesus as we sing, talk and pray
If you are happy to be here, just wave your hand;
We hope after this program, we all would join the Community Services band.
The topic for today is “The Least of These”;
And we are here, but please,
Close your eyes and imagine I am still home sleeping,
And it’s Judgement Day;
That’s what I am dreaming.
Audio Visual Room - (Thunder rolling and lightening flashing, then the sound of trumpet and a picture on the screen depicting Jesus and His angels, bursting the skies.)
Lord, my name is … (enter your name here)…, yes, I try to live just like Ellen G. White,
I see Ellen on your right, so my name somewhere near your sight.
What, my name is not there??
Lord, I come to church every Sabbath and even night service, I am here.
What?? You were hungry and in prison and I didn’t give you food or even a visit??
That’s not true of me, I must admit.
The only people who ever told me they were hungry is some people living close to me,
But it’s lazy they are lazy, that’s why they are always begging me.
They steal and end up in prison,
But you don’t do those things because you have been chosen.
Just like me, I don’t steal,
I work for my money and you love me for real.
You bless me so much that I got a big promotion,
Since then, every Sabbath, I try to put two extra dollars in the collection.
What?? You were naked and I didn’t clothe you? When was that??
Are you talking about when you were on the cross, seeking to save the world that was lost??
I wasn’t there.
If I was there I would be the first to put some clothes on you,
But I wasn’t even born yet, so that can’t be true.
I always buy the most expensive clothes for my family,
We always step out looking like royalty.
I’m not like my neighbors, they always wearing rags
If you see them you would even think they have gone mad.
They so dirty looking, I don’t talk to them you know;
I wouldn’t even give them the clothes my children outgrow.
I’m well respected in society,
Friends in high places, I have plenty.
So Lord, I could go over to the right side now?
No you say!! What do you mean??
I am a faithful wife, I never committed adultery,
And I don’t tell lies on anybody.
The Commandments, I keep all ten,
I have to get full marks for that, or a very high percent.
Depart… Lord, is depart you telling me,
Because, I did it not … to the least of these,
You mean Matthew 25: 45 is my reality…. Oh nooo
Audio Visual Room – (Background sound of a deep male voice saying – “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.)
(Superintendent takes off sleeping wear, revealing her Community Services uniform and the programme continues.)
Thank God that was only a dream
I still have a chance so I’m joining the Community Services Team.
Matthew 25: 31-46. Reading responsively – Superintendent leads, then left side, then right side and everybody together for the last verse.
Prayer: every uniformed member to pray with someone (or more) members who are not wearing uniform. Prayer points – for the success of the Community Services in reaching the community for Christ and that we do not become weary in well doing.
Hymn 582 – Working, O Christ, With Thee or Hymn: 580 – This Little Light of Mine
The story is told of a pastor who held up his Bible before his congregation. It was tattered and filled with holes. While studying theology, he and some classmates had gone through his Bible and underlined every passage that dealt with matters relating to poverty, oppression and justice. Then, with a pair of scissors, they cut out every verse dealing with those topics.
Could you say some of those verses that you believe were cut out from that Bible?
Matthew 25: 35-45 of course; James 1:27; Psalm 68:5; Job 29:12; Isaiah 58:7; Proverbs 19:17; Romans 12: 11-13; 1 John 3:17, etc. (read some)
Throughout Scripture, these themes are so central that there is a lot missing from the Bible when they are removed. The tattered Bible speaks powerfully and loudly about the things that God cares about most. Do you care about the things that God cares about?
Main Feature continued:
What should the story about the tattered Bible say to us as Seventh-day Adventists? It should say a lot. Research has shown that only approximately 30 percent of Seventh-day Adventists are involved in meeting the needs of the community outside the church. What about the remaining 70 percent? Jesus calls His entire end-time church to proclaim and live the whole “everlasting gospel” (Revelation 14:6)
What factors did Jesus use to separate the sheep from the goats, as depicted in Matthew 25: 31-46? Was it Sabbath keepers versus Sunday worshippers or was it the acceptance of the truth of salvation by faith, or even knowledge of the prophecies, although these are fundamental to all that we do? Jesus shows us that preaching the gospel also means tangible expressions of love and compassion for the least of these; the hungry, the stranger (foreigner), the naked, sick, and imprisoned. Preaching the Good News must be accompanied with good deeds.
The Community Services Department of the South Caribbean Conference is the humanitarian agency of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We work to meet people's immediate needs when affected by natural disasters or circumstances of life. Our social services includes health outreach services, disaster response etc.
Further, the local church is organised to serve those in need. All ministries of the church (for example, health, family, youth, Sabbath School, deacons/deaconesses, etc.) exist to work together for serving the community as well as church members. It purposes to build a trust relationship between the Church and community by providing assistance to persons in need, without reference to race, religion, gender.
This morning, our aim is to show how important Community Services is and that every church member, old and young, mem and women are called to serve. There is much work to do but the labourers are few. Can He count on you?
Welfare Ministry pages 15 &16 says, “There never was a time when there was greater need for the exercise of mercy than today. The poor are all around us, the distressed, the afflicted, the sorrowing, and those who are ready to perish. The Lord has made ample provision for all. He has given to thousands of men large supplies with which to alleviate the want of their fellows; but those whom God has made stewards have not stood the test, for they have failed to relieve the suffering and the needy. Brethren, we all have a part to play in meeting the needs of ….. The least of these.
How do you personally express your appreciation for what God has done for you in Christ? One church member put it this way:
On the street one day, I saw a small girl, cold and shivering in a thin dress,
with little hope of a decent meal. I became angry and said to God:
“Why did You permit this? Why don’t you do something about it?”
For a while God said nothing. Then that night, He replied quite suddenly:
“I certainly did something about it. I made you.”
God created each of us for his service, please stand if you are willing to make a commitment to the service for which we have all been called.
Prayer: the prayer of commitment.
Sabbath school is adjourned until next Sabbath, May the good Lord bless and keep you in His care.