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A Liturgy Before Serving Others

A Liturgy Before Serving Others

 

O Christ Who Made Himself

The Servant of All,

I would set my heart

And my affections upon You –

And upon You alone – for I can only

Serve others rightly when such service

Is undertaken from first to last as

An act of devotion offered to You.

 

In serving You, I am freed from my

Need for the praise of others.  So that

Even if my kindnesses are shed from

Scarred hearts as rain from a sloped

Tin roof, my joy will not be dimmed,

For I will know that You have received

And remembered each act of sacrifice,

And reckoned it as a love rendered to You.

 

So let my love be sincere,

And let my service be fearless, O Lord.

 

I would serve in imitation of You, who

Poured out Your life for me.  I would serve

Knowing that Your Spirit is ever at work in the

Lives of those I serve, ever calling, ever drawing,

Ever seeking to soften hearts encased in fear and

Disappointment and anger and idolatry.  So let

My kindnesses and sacrifice fall like warm shafts

Of sunlight on icy ground.

 

I cannot know the end of another person’s story,

Our lives so often only briefly intersect.  So let

Me be content to minister regardless of visible

Outcomes, trusting that the small mercies I

Extend will be woven into the larger theme of

Redemption at work in the lives of others as You

Woo them to Yourself, drawing their hearts

By graces offered, and shaping my own heart too

In this process of learning to serve well and

By learning to serve well, learning to love well.

 

Amen

Every Moment Holy by Douglas Kaine McKelvey, 2017

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