Spiritual Disciplines: Service
At The Gathering this month we continued with our ‘Spiritual Disciplines’ theme, having a chat and think about ‘Service’.
So what is service? And why could it be considered a spiritual discipline?
Have a think and answer those questions for yourself! .
Serving others isn’t something that always comes naturally to us, sometimes it involves giving things that we enjoy and like doing, sometimes it involves sacrificing a lie in to do stuff that no-one notices!.
Here are some definitions of ‘self righteous’ and ‘true’ service...
‘Self Righteous’ service
Comes through human effort
Is impressed with itself, especially when seen by others
Picks and chooses who to serve
Affected by moods and the ‘feeling to serve’
Comes from relationship with Jesus
Welcomes all opportunities to serve, big or small
Content with being hidden
Serves because there is a need
Is a lifestyle
What do you think of these definitions? Have a think about your motivations when you serve – are any of these particularly relevant/easy/difficult for you?!
Jesus gives us a load of good examples of what serving and putting others and their needs before our own looks like - John 13: 1-17 is a well known story. Before you read it, this is what Richard Foster says to help set the scene...
“When Jesus gathered his disciples for the Last Supper they were having trouble deciding who was the greatest. This was no new issue for them...
The disciples were keenly aware that someone needed to wash the others feet. The problem was that the only people who washed feet were the least. So they sat, feet caked with dirt. It was such a sore point that they were not even going to talk about it. No one wanted to be considered the least...” (Celebration of Discipline)
With this story, and what Jesus does and says, in mind, what does (or could) service look like in our day to day lives? (Not just in church related stuff)
And how could our attitude towards serving affect how we treat those who serve us?
Experiment this week by starting each day with this prayer:
Jesus, show me someone I can serve today.
Help me get creative in how I think about service. Amen.