A few months ago I went with a friend to a hockey game. This was the first time I had been at a game where the action was recorded and shown on a screen above the ice. I found myself mesmerized as I watched each play. It wasn't until we were at the end of the second period that I realized I was watching the screen more than I was the ice! The same thing happened to me this past week when I was at the Prayer Summit (side note: it was amazing, start saving and plan to go next year). They recorded the speakers, and as they did that, they broadcast what they were taping on a giant screen behind the speaker. Though I could clearly see the speaker from my seat, I still found myself gravitating to the screen. I was surprised by my own natural instinct.
These two instances got me to thinking about how we view Christ. I think sometimes we get caught looking at a screen version of the real thing - even though the real thing is right in front of us. Things like our creeds, confessions and catechisms, written to help us understand a person, start to take the place of that person. Our works of service seem to become a way for us to win our salvation. We begin to view Christ through the lens of our lives, and make assumptions about who God is because of who we are - rather than the opposite view, of understanding who we are because of who God is.
We can get pretty off-track when our eyes are set on something other than Jesus - when we are staring at the screen instead of the person, when we assume the screen is what is real and forget that the one on the screen is alive - he is the one who is living and breathing.
As deacons we should become the screen of Christ. In the Form for the Ordination of Elders and Deacons it reads "In Christ's name the deacons relieve victims of injustice. By this they show that Christians live by the Spirit of the kingdom, fervently desiring to give life the shape of things to come." By keeping our eyes on the person of Christ and serving faithfully out of that place we show others who Christ is. In the charge to deacons it says "live as examples of Christ Jesus". This is our calling - not only as deacons though, but as Christians - Christ Followers.
We all have things or people in our lives who reveal Christ to us - the same way a giant screen shows us up close action that we can't see clearly. However, we must keep in mind that the screen does not tell us the full story, we can't see the whole picture. In a time when we seem to worship a lot of screens let's remember that our faith and hope come from Christ. We actually worship a living God - not a screened image - so make a commitment to spend time daily getting to know Christ. Let him guide and direct you as you serve because church leadership needs to be first and foremost rooted in Christ.