Scripture Reflections

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

SERVANT CULTURE



October 20, 2010
Wednesday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Luke 12:39-48


Expect the unexpected:

Human life is marked with a sense of uncertainty. With all the scientific progress we have made, we cannot yet predict with certainty what lies ahead of us. When I can get sick, when fortunes in my life can change, when relationships can grow soar, when and what manner I am to bid farewell to this world—these are mysteries that humanity has come to live with from its very inception. However, we know for certain that as I entered the world, so will I pass away, not into uncertainties but into the certainty of faith in the hands of a loving and caring God. So, I need not worry as to how and when I may die, rather I need to be concerned with how I make my life so as to be “always ready and vigilant” for encountering my creator face to face. There are three things I need to keep in my mind in this journey of my life: my identity as a servant, prudence and, faithfulness.

Identity as Servant:

The perennial question “who am I” has been answered by Jesus in two complementing directions, as a “child of God”, and a “servant”. Jesus was aware of His being the Son of God yet He also knew that He is a servant of God and His people. He was more comfortable to be called a servant than a master. Indeed, He taught His disciples that one cannot claim the “sonship/daughtership” of God unless one first becomes a servant of all. He claimed of Himself as “the son of man who came not to be served but to serve and give His life as ransom for many.

We live in a time when “service” has acquired myriads of implicit meanings. The service sector of our society is going through a crisis of credibility and survival. It is not only the rampant corruption that has ravaged the service sector. Much more, it is a change of ideology, a shift of paradigm, and an alteration of culture. In the political and commercial, cultural realms, nay, even in the religious sphere, service has become a springboard of power, profit and privileges. “Service” means more of self-service than of public welfare. “Servant” assumes the position of the master. Against such a culture, Jesus cries out to follow Him, the “suffering servant”, the “servant of all” who spends His all for the sake of His people. In Jesus’ vision “servanthood” is about humility, obedience, faithfulness, loyalty, self-sacrifice and diligence. Such a servant has nothing to fear, nothing to hide, for he/she always lives a life of transparency, busying him/herself in doing the will of his/her master. The “master’s” will and happiness keeps him/her in great anticipation, readiness and alertness all the time of his/her life.

Prudence:

A true servant cannot be timid. Prudence is that quality by which a servant becomes aware of the options before him and is able to discern and decide on the right thing, in the right manner at the right time. Prudence is always shown in action. Prudence dictates to me that my true identity is that of a servant, and as a servant, I am supposed to serve, vigilant and active, carrying out the plan and projects of my master. There is no greater value for me than the “mind”, “will” and “orders” of my master. Seeking the will of God in all things in all times is the mark of a Christian. I am called to serve God and His people. I’m concerned only with one thing: how can I be of help to you. When I say I am a servant, I am declaring that you are my master. Being my master, I consider you as greater than I am. This makes me humble. The test of service is humility and obedience. If I feel it natural and easy for me to work under anyone, to take orders, and not to impose my will and mind on others, then I know I am growing in ‘servanthood’.

Faithfulness:

As a servant, I am expected of faithfulness in life, relationships and duty. The master has the right to expect that I am faithful to Him and His work. Faithfulness is manifested in my commitment to the master and to the task. Diligence, fairness and cheerful countenance are the marks of a faithful servant.

5 comments:

  1. When I read your reflection on servanthood, the song "Humble Thyself In The Sight of the Lord" came to mind.

    I think that as we progress in our faith, that is our desire for God becomes ever stronger, we seek more and more to serve the Lord by serving other, for it is no longer I (we) that live, but Christ living in us.

    As Mary said, "Behold the handmaid to the Lord, let it be done to me according to thy word", we too, say yes to service.

    Father, this is such an excellent post. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Great post, it is a blessing to be a servant of Jesus.

    http://youcanfacetodaybecausehelives.blogspot.com

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  3. Thak you Daily Grace and Toyin for your comments. You are right, there is nothing more important and urgent for us Christians than to revive and re-live the spirit of service as taught by Jesus by His life and practiced by the first Christian community. It is paradoxical, though,that the more I humble myelf before the Lord and His children, the more I become like Christ and Christ lives in me. No wonder, Jesus made it clear in unambiguous manner that the way to greatness is humble service. It is a long journey and process to be a humble servant.

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  4. There is great joy in being a servant or servant leader, but I think people don't always see that.

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