Service is the Real Thing

Whenever there are people in the world out there who genuinely care about each other, God is being served. Whenever they are compassionate toward each other, God is being served. Whenever they sacrifice for each other, God is being served. Whenever they are supportive of each other in the quest for truth, God is being served.

When He was about to embark on His public ministry, Jesus was tempted in the desert to choose mammon over God. Jesus chose God and, as God’s supremely faithful Servant, He died on the Cross, rose from the dead, and became the Source of our Resurrection Hope.

Now, we are being asked to choose. But remember, if you say you have chosen to be God’s servant, it is not just a title you have opted for, but a way of life. You have opted for life in Christ. You have chosen to be an apostle of Resurrection Hope in a world shrouded in hopelessness. You have chosen, deep within yourself, to say, “Yes! The gift of God’s Love is so good for me, so life-enhancing for me that I will put my whole being into my response. I will let the Holy Spirit baptize my time, my skills, my feelings, my mind, my body, as I offer them to God through the service of others.”

On the night before He died, Jesus’ last lesson to the disciples was a practical illustration of the art of servanthood. He took a towel and a basin, knelt down and washed and dried their feet. “Do you understand what I just did for you?” He asked, “You address Me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and fittingly enough, for that is what I am. But if I washed your feet — I who am Teacher and Lord — then, you must wash each other’s feet. What I just did was to give you an example: as I have done, so must you” (Jn.13:12-15). Understanding this was difficult for those first disciples. And, we know from our own experience, the difficulty we have in understanding and accepting this role of servanthood from Jesus.

The chief personnel officer of a major airline was describing the difficulty of recruiting and training new employees — especially for jobs requiring the employee to give direct service to the public. He said, “Service is the only thing, really, that we have to sell. But it is the part of the job that is hardest to teach. Nowadays, no one wants to be thought of as a servant.” He is right, I think. Nowadays, nobody wants to be thought of as a servant. But it presents us with a serious problem because the Gospels make it perfectly clear that Jesus intended for each one of His followers to be precisely that: a servant.

In God’s eyes, we are worth infinitely more than our bank account. In God’s eyes, we are worth dying for. Jesus, Son of God, came to serve us in this way. So it’s time to come down from the hills or wherever you are. Come down on your knees, take a towel and a basin, and discover what it means to be outrageously happy just doing for others. You may remember the imagery and the words of the best-selling author — for indeed, there’s a bigger mountain out there! But most of all, remember always the Word of the Lord: “You cannot be the slave both of God and money … Anyone among you who aspires to be greatest must serve the rest.”

Lord, I need to be a servant… touching all the people of the world in all circumstances and conditions. Help me to see, and experience my calling to be Your servant… send me out to serve. Amen.

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