Semper Informanda: Prolegomenon

Serving or Servanthood?

Five years ago, a friend who works for a jail ministry asked if I would teach a Bible study in a jail. I quickly remembered the parable that Jesus tells of the King who invites certain people into his kingdom. They are the ones who feed the hungry, clothe the naked, look after the sick, invite in strangers, and visit those in prison. I reluctantly said I would go.

On my first visit to the Orange County Work Release Facility, I taught a large group of inmates. As they shared their stories, I quickly felt an unexpected kinship with them. Afterward, I went to my car and cried. For years, I had happily served the Lord in very safe and secure ways. That day, God impressed upon me that He wanted something more.

In Mark 9:35, we find these words:
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."

I thought that I went into the jail to obediently serve God. But God was not asking me to serve. He was asking me to be a servant."

Author Richard Foster explains, “When we choose to serve, we are still in charge. We decide who we will serve and when we will serve...But when we choose to be a servant, we give up the right to be in charge. There is great freedom in this. When we choose to be a servant, we surrender the right to decide who and when we will serve. We become available and vulnerable.”

May we all set aside the inclination to merely serve. Let’s seek to be a servant instead.

Mrs. Leigh Swanson
Associate Dean of Students

Orlando Semper Informanda | Volume 7 Issue 5


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