As a deacon the calling we have is to a serving ministry, but actually all Christians have a calling to offer a serving ministry, it is what Jesus commanded, that we serve as he served. This servant ministry is a noble calling but it can be misinterpreted because serving is not what we do to others but what we do with others! It is a shared experience and it may mean that the servant has to accept being served too.
Visiting an elderly lady in her late 90’s I was invited to tea. It was quite hard to say yes, as it felt wrong to be taking food from her. I turned up on the appointed day and what a feast was set before me, I was transported back to my childhood and Sunday tea with my grandparents. The tinned red salmon, the bread and butter cut so thin you could see through it, the lettuce and tomatoes picked from her garden and tinned fruit and evaporated milk, followed by a home baked Victoria sponge. It was a delightful time and afterwards she told me that no one ever let her do anything for them anymore, not make a cup of tea, or bake a cake and if visitors came they insisted on getting the drinks or bringing in food with them.
It was a salutary lesson I learnt that day that by not accepting others serving we stop their ministry, and the reality is most of us are happier giving than receiving, yet to receive is also part of a serving ministry.
All of us are the recipients of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we have to accept and receive that sacrifice into our lives and hearts to come close to the father-heart of God’s love for us. Christ gave his life for us before we were even aware of it, nothing we do can change that fact! But to accept it and live it makes what he did a reality in our lives.
I meet many people who feel they have nothing to offer anymore through age or illness, or they feel what they can offer is not good enough. What on earth are we doing when we diminish people in such a way? So this week make someone feel special by encouraging them and building them up, and if someone does that to you, be gracious and let them.
Servant God, who gave your all for us, help us to give our all to you and for and with each other, so that together we may be a servant people building each other up and sharing in all we have so that your name is glorified and your rule of love is known and see in action.
Download this Prayer for the Week here.
Prayers for November written by Denise Creed.
Picture: free clipart image.