Yesterday Andy, our excellent mechanic, gave our car a ‘Major Service’. Plugs and filters were replaced, lights and brakes checked… All is well; the MOT test certificate proves it!
On Sunday there was our ‘church service’… we ate our dinner off our ‘dinner service’… for yesterday’s supermarket delivery we contacted ‘customer services’…
Service is about Serving Others… In our culture we don’t have servants… but serving others in our local communities is still vital.
Our ‘Emergency Services’ direct their efforts at the injured, sick, vulnerable… Our bin men, our ‘Waste Removal Services’, work each day removing our rubbish… serving not themselves but the needs of others.
High Quality Service is valued… Andy rightly prides himself on the high quality service he gives his customers and cars…
At a restaurant we value ‘high quality service’ – the order recorded correctly, food cooked to our liking, polite and efficient staff, the meal arriving on time…
If an abused wife, a neglected child, a suicidal teenager is referred to the ‘Social Services’ we expect them to receive the high quality service they need and deserve.
What’s a Church ‘Service’?…
If ‘service’ is not about what I want but is about serving others, perhaps serving our God… If ‘High Quality Service’ is valued… What does a church ‘service’ look like?
Service is Freedom… St Augustine’s prayer:
Lord, you are the light of the minds who know you, the life of the souls who love you, and the strength of the souls who serve you. Help us to know you that we may truly love you, so to love you that we may fully serve You, whose service is perfect freedom.
He was pointing to the Jesus who came ‘not to be served but to serve’… to St Paul’s instruction to ‘serve one another in love’.
This paradox is at the centre of Christian faith: it’s only when we learn to serve others, to provide ‘High Quality Service’ that we discover true freedom.