Friday, September 29, 2017
How Can I Be of Service?
And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet. I have given you an example to follow; do as I have done to you.
Clark Howard is a nationally-syndicated talk show personality and consumer advocate. His mission is to help people "save more, spend less, and avoid ripoffs." What sets Clark apart from other radio hosts is the way he greets his callers. After welcoming them by name to The Clark Howard Show, he says, "How can I be of service to you today?"
Not "How can I help you?" or "What's on your mind?" or "What can I do for you?"
"How can I be of service to you today?"
In a recent sermon, Pastor Graham, our new associate minister, points out that serving one another is the hallmark of living out our Christian calling. He highlights the act of Jesus, on His last earthly evening with His disciples, washing the feet of His friends. In Jesus' time, the washing of a person's feet is a job reserved for the lowest of the low in society.
But as He has done so many times throughout His ministry, Jesus turns everything on its head. Perhaps, Graham suggests, with this startling and unexpected gesture, Jesus hammers home, in graphic physicality, what it means to truly follow Him. Jesus' hope is that the lesson will stick with His disciples long after He is no longer with them.
Young Davy, the protagonist in my novels, The Glade Series and Adventures in The Glade, learns what it means to serve from a wise and savvy Mrs. Racer, True Squirrel of the Old Ones. They are at a banquet in Davy's honor when the boy stops her.
"Mrs. Racer," he asked, placing his hand tentatively on her shoulders. She stopped immediately and turned toward him.
"How will you get to eat and drink if you're so busy serving?"
"Don't you worry your head over that, dear," she assured him. "There is always plenty to go around, and the time will come for dining when all else is tended to."
"But it's such hard work," he insisted. "How can serving be considered an honor when you get left out of all the fun?"
A mist rose in her eyes and she blinked, her lashes longer than Racer's, and a peaceful expression was on her face.
"When we serve, we imitate our Lord," she said simply. "That is why I am honored today. It is a day I will remember fondly and forever."
Yes, Mrs. Racer, that's it exactly!
And as Pastor Graham so aptly sums it up: "The impulse to serve is at the very heart of God."
May each of us cultivate, with God's help, a heart that longs to serve.
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