Serve in Community

By John Wight, senior president of seventy

…whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.  Mark 10:43–45

As a child, I regarded the people who served as apostles with awe. I saw them as super-humans who somehow were better than everyone else and above doing menial tasks.

This view was shattered one summer when I was attending a family camp as a 15-year-old. I enjoyed working in the kitchen and was happy to help with KP duties. As I stood at a sink washing pots and pans one day, a gentleman walked up and asked, with a plain air of humble servanthood, if I needed help.

I was rather shocked when I looked up and found it was a guest minister—a man who had served as an apostle until the previous year. I was nearly speechless as I tried to answer his question, but I finally blurted out, “Sure, that would be great.”

For the next hour, this boy and a former apostle stood side by side, scrubbing nasty, greasy pots and pans, and chatting. That was a pivotal moment in my life—a moment for which I am very grateful and one which I never shall forget.

It taught me in real and personal ways the lesson Jesus was trying to communicate in the story recorded in the 10th chapter of Mark. This man, who had served in the highest levels of church leadership, taught me the value of humility and how important it is “not to be served, but to serve.”

Prayer for Peace:

Ground of our being, as humble servants we ask that our calling be made known to us. How can we serve you and our companions? How can we serve strangers? How can we share the peace of Christ?

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Caring for God’s Sacred Creation

Each day this week choose a way to notice, give thanks, and care for God’s sacred creation. Prayerfully consider one of the following suggested practices or create your own.

Walk in nature with a spirit of gratitude and “holy attention.” Write a psalm of praise for the beauty of the Earth, or a prayer of healing and blessing for the wounds of the Earth. Learn about and engage in an act of Earth-keeping, such as recycling, simple living, fasting from over-consumption of resources. Notice the unique diversity of the planet’s creatures and be gentle to plants, animals, trees, and people! Fall in love with the vast, intricate wonder of God’s creation and give thanks.

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will not be above any task that I am asked to do for the cause of peace.

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1 Comment

  1. So very beautiful and of course a wonderful lesson on serving our Glorious God!

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