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Service and Others

“Called by Isaiah “the just One who serves many well” (Is 53:11), Christ reveals through His life and teaching the high calling of servanthood. Christ Jesus illumines service and transforms serving. He raises service from a common activity and establishes it as a blessed, divine attitude of heart!... A heart worthy of the kingdom of God longs to serve in the manner – and by the grace – of God Incarnate. Here our Lord Jesus describes service to His faithful disciples (Mt 20:17) in the context of His Passion (vss. 18-19). Indeed, the largest portion of all four Gospels concerns the Passion and Resurrection. For the faithful, the Lord’s servanthood dominates even our approach to the passage of time. We mark the week with fasts on Wednesday and Friday, commemorating Christ’s betrayal and Crucifixion, and we celebrate the Resurrection on the first of the week, calling it the “Lord’s Day.” Through Great Lent, Holy Week, and Pascha, the mystery of service is constantly held before the hearts of the faithful…we are baptized into Christ in order to share His cup of service.” (Dynamis 8/3/2023)

“Through the messages of our media, and even our churches, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that sometimes we are able to serve God best through being weak for Him instead of being strong, through being poor rather than rich, and by attempting small things for Him instead of great things.” (Robin Phillips)

“I have found that some people, in searching for a meaningful life, have confused greatness with fame. In spite of our culture’s obsession with celebrity, a successful life does not have to include fame and, in most cases, shouldn’t. Fame and greatness are not the same thing. There are great people in this world—people of great accomplishment and service to humanity—who are not famous. There are scores of famous people who are not great. In most cases, true greatness is a silent and lonely affair, unaccompanied by the trumpeted fanfare of acclaim…Derived from the word humus, which means “of the earth” or earthiness, to have humility and to be humble is to remember that we are not God. Humility shifts the focus from ourselves to God and to service to others as the center of all things. When we have truly embraced humility, we find ourselves no longer wanting and striving after things, because we discover gratitude and contentment with things exactly as they are...“humility is a process of growth and always a journey.” (Richard Paul Evans, Alan Jones)

“In fulfilling our vocations as “earthen vessels,” we must never take it upon ourselves to judge the calling of someone else or even what we perceive to be our own calling. Since all the members of Christ’s body play vital roles in its flourishing, there is no place for diminishing any sacrificial offering of service to the Lord. With the guidance and blessing of our spiritual fathers, we should focus on offering ourselves faithfully to Christ and give thanks for the ministries of others, regardless of how important or prominent anyone thinks they are.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“Our spirit should be quick to reach out toward God, not only when it is engaged in meditation; at other times, also, when carrying out its duties, caring for the needy, performing works of charity, giving generously in service of others, our spirit should long for God and call Him to mind, so that these works may be seasoned with the salt of God’s love, and so make a palatable offering to the God of the universe. Throughout the whole of our lives, we may enjoy the benefit that comes from prayer if we devote a great deal of time to it.” (St. John Chrysostom)

“Sometimes we become apathetic about serving the Lord or hesitate to do good because we don’t see any results...Don’t let discouragement over an apparent lack of results keep you from doing the work of the Lord enthusiastically as you have opportunity..." (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 15:58)

“If someone does not consider himself Christ’s servant, then he is free to set aside the need for self-examination…Christ’s faithful servants are like navigators: we need to review how well we are “holding the course.” Are we, as stewards, managing the mysteries of God even as we claim to live in Christ? Christian life demands constant correction and self-evaluation…” (Dynamis 9/5/2015)

“If you want to serve God, prepare your heart not for food, not for drink, not for rest, not for ease, but for suffering, so that you may endure all temptations, trouble and sorrow.” (St. Sergius of Radonezh)

“Is loving and serving others unconditionally worth it if it brings you a lot of pain and suffering? Answering this question depends on how you measure worth. If you use a worldly return on investment model, then the answer is likely no, because you may never receive anything measurable in return by the world’s standards. But if you measure worth by Christ and truly believe He is the way, truth and the life, then there is no other answer but yes.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“…service is where we bring peace to someone else by serving someone other than ourselves. Thus, peace is found in service to others. When I am serving, I am taking something from me and GIVING it freely to someone else. This promotes peace. When I am taking something from someone and making it mine, this is what disturbs and distorts peace and creates conflict.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“When Jesus came in the form of a servant, He was not disguising who God is. He was revealing who God is…The God made known in Christ is a relational God who is Himself described as “love.” (John Ortberg, Father Stephen Freeman)

“God created us to be social beings. Jesus said that the sum of the Law and the Prophets is that we should love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind and love our neighbors as ourselves. To love requires loving others and letting others love you. Unless you have the rare calling to be a hermit, obeying God and being true to our divinely given nature mean engaging in community life.” (Rod Dreher)

“Serve others as if you are serving the Lord Himself!...The higher the leadership the deeper the servanthood." (Steve Campbell, Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“If we make the good of others one of our primary goals, we will develop a serving attitude that pleases God.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 10:33)

“Jesus served others and He wants us to do the same…Only by living solely for loving and serving others boldly, as Christ did while on earth, thereby accepting meekly the disdain of this world, as He did, will I attain salvation.” (Antiochian Archdiocese)

“Never forget that your humility will exalt you. If you put yourselves last, you will find yourselves first. When you truly seek to serve, then you will also find yourselves served according to your need.” (Father Hanna Sakkab)

“To truly serve is to empty oneself completely and offer from the heart expecting nothing in return…Ironically, the more you “serve” the more you receive in the form of God’s blessings on your life.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“When confronted with a problem, those who are greater put themselves at the service of others. This is the only possible solution. As Christ says, those who wish to be the greatest must become the servants and slaves even of the weakest.” (Elder Sophrony of Essex)

“Personal contact with God’s people always is a challenge...We have to maintain love for others…Personal relationships require considering others' needs, problems, moods, and life-concerns. In order to love, we are forced to step outside ourselves, consider the life-circumstances of others, and deliberately choose kind and thoughtful ways we may tender service to them. Personal movement from self to other is a commitment to loving “in Christ.” It demands struggle to move toward the Lord’s standard of self-giving, in hope of refreshing others in their hearts, recognizing that it may entail death to our own needs and desires.” (Dynamis 9/1/2012)

"A person filled with the Spirit of Christ strongly desires to serve.” (Charles Stanley)

“When we are self-centered instead of selfless, we act against our very nature. From the Christian perspective, people ought to be selflessly loving toward others not just because it is a good idea, not just because it helps our species survive, not just because it earns us a reward, and not just because it pleases God. People ought to be selflessly loving because it is who we are. Humans are made in the image of a selfless God; loving others is what makes us truly human.” (Nabeel Qureshi)

“...service to others is healing, first and foremost for me. When I help others, I help myself. This is why it is pointless to ponder whether or not I am “worthy” to do what I am called to do. And for me, just like for every other follower of Christ, that calling is –to be of service to others, in the way that I, personally, can.” (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

“…theology grounded in the doctrine of the Trinity advocates that human beings cannot simply be reduced to self-referential entities. Human beings can never be separate, self-enclosed or self-sufficient entities. Their existence is verified in the relationships that they have with one another, with nature and ultimately with God. Thus, a person is not an individual but an open and ecstatic reality, refers to significant others for his or her existence. One becomes a person in self-transcendence, the movement of freedom toward communion.” (Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Clapsis)

“…we all are aware that only God is perfect and that He calls us, in our weakness, to serve Him and humanity at the same time. As human beings, regardless of our positions or roles in life, even when we serve Him in our families, at church or anywhere, to some extent we often sin, we are sometimes unjust, we can be wrong, we make errors, we cause harm, we deceive, we lack for love, etc. Our growth from our fallen state to perfection is revealed by the transformation of our heart...” (Metropolitan Silouan)

“…no matter who we are — no matter our backgrounds, our talents, our station in life — if we offer who we are completely to God, He will make us who we are supposed to be. If we offer ourselves completely to God — both our abilities and our limitations — He can and will use us to the glory of His kingdom. (Archpriest Steven Rogers)

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