Skip to main content

Service

Last Wednesday we discussed service in our class.  Service is a hard topic.  And I think part of that is because there is something in our society that people have come to believe is what God requires of us in regards to service.  That this is community service.  It's prolific in our society, people calling us down to soup kitchens on Thanksgiving and Christmas to serve dinner to those who can't afford it.  Visiting nursing homes and bringing smiles to the residents.  Helping small children and little old ladies cross the road.  Schools have even put community service into their graduation requirements, colleges have an entire section to fill out on how you've served the community.  These are all wonderful and needed things, but the problem is that community service is something you go do and then come back home and do something else. 

I believe that the service that God calls us too is a little more mundane and day to day than community service. It's not necessarily going to have a large group going along with us or a story of how many potatoes we peeled down town.  I believe that the service we're called to is much more quiet and unnoticeable. 

Service that I'm thinking of is a discipline of noticing people and their needs.  People tell us what they need all the time in the way they interact with us. Once you become aware of those needs, you do something about it.  You don't just go "Man, Tommy Sue really needs someone to talk to right now" you actually take the time to sit and let Tommy Sue talk.  That is what I believe service is. 

There are not a lot of stories of soup kitchens and retirement communities in the Bible, maybe none at all, but there are lots of stories of hungry, thirsty, lonely, sick, naked, imprisoned people.  Jesus interacted with people and served them as individuals and that is the main difference between the discipline of service and community service.  When we serve individuals we are serving God (Matthew 25:40).  This is not to say that community service is bad, but it is to say that if you participate in community service and do not connect with individuals that you serve then you have truly lost out on an opportunity for fellowship and growth. 

By all means, put yourself in places where the community needs to be served, but don't treat people like they are cattle or another faceless being wandering through.  Take the time to be with people, individuals, part of God's family.  Those that we serve are not some good looking line on our resume, they are people created in God's image.  They deserve more than our free time on Saturdays, they deserve our full attention and care. 

I know that it is easy to slip into this idea of being some place to perform a task.  We can do that in our very homes, making even the care of the dishes more important than the needs of our families.  The need to have things just so can over take and run down the tender heart of a toddler who needs attention.

This morning, I'm reminded of a time I was serving at a community dinner.  We had prepared a meal, the sun was starting to set and it was definitely time to go home, but the tables needed to be cleared and people were still eating.  As the tables quickly began to empty, we started to wipe them down and set the chairs on top for mopping.  A solitary man sat at the end of table, slowly finishing his meal.  One chair went up on the table, then two and suddenly I was struck.  I was telling him to get out, I had done my part of the service it was time for him to be done with his meal and leave me alone.  I stopped, sat down and talked with the man while he finished his meal.  I don't remember the conversation at all.  I just remember that understanding of me saying with my actions "You are not worthy."  When we serve others, we are telling them with our actions that they are indeed worthy.  Worthy of God's love and affection.  And that is what service comes down to is telling those we encounter over and over again "You are worthy."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Stories from the Kitchen: Taste and See

I celebrated my birthday last weekend. It was wonderful and the leftovers left me with a question or two. Find out what they are and how I'm currently answering them in this week's podcast. Stories from the Kitchen Season 2, Episode 2: Taste and See Notes from the episode: Taste and See by Margaret Feinberg Dad’s New York Cheesecake (from the back of a Philidelphia Cream Cheese package) 1 ⅞ cups graham cracker crumbs ¼ to ½ cup butter, melted 1 cup sugar, divided 2 lbs cream cheese (4 packs) 2 large eggs (lightly beaten) 1 tsp vanilla 2 tbsp cornstarch 1 cup sour cream Preheat oven to 450F Mix well graham crackers, 2 tbsp sugar, and enough butter that the mixture holds together. Reserve 2 tbsp for garnish. Press mixture onto bottom and sides of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Chill in the freezer while preparing the filling. Mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth and light. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and cornstarch until just blended. S

Sweet Caroline by Kelda Poynot

  First off, my copy of Sweet Caroline  (aff link) is not a gifted review book, I spent my well earned Amazon No-Rush Rewards money on this book. Second of all, this is not my standard close door kind of romance. Third of all, this is a really fun read. Caroline is a hard working young lady that is doing all that she can to make ends meet and to get her graduate degree. Part of that work is renting out the room above her garage. When she answers the phone of an unknown number, believing it's a future tenant, she has no idea how much her life is about to change.  The young man on the other end of that call, Hashim, is tall, dark, and mysterious in all the right ways. The story quickly moves from the girl next door falling for a stranger to a fight for their lives. And in true real life fashion, those fights aren't just with external enemies but the ones we carry within.  It's an entertaining story of Caroline and Hashim, discovering their love for each other and fighting to

Project 52: Good Friday is low key

We had a wonderful Holy week, full of celebrations, one of my favorites was the Good Friday celebration.  But it was emotionally and physically draining.  By the time that evening rolled around, we weren't up for much of anything.  We ended up having a game night on our bed with crackers, cheese and salami.  It was fun, we played cribbage, and In a Pickle (which we determined is not for two people with little to no brain power).  I'm looking forward to this Friday because Joel is off the entire week, which should mean more energy and maybe something creative!