Saturday, October 21, 2017


The Washing of Feet, by Ghislane Howard

One of my favorite hymns is The Spirit Sends Us Forth to Serve.  The words were written by Delores Dufner, OSB. It is hymn number 551 in Evangelical Lutheran Worship.  Here are the four verses for your consideration:

The spirit sends us forth to serve; 
we go in Jesus' name 
to bring glad tidings to the poor, 
God's favor to proclaim.

We go to comfort those who mourn 
and set the burdened free: 
where hope is dim, to share a dream 
and help the blind to see.

We go to be the hands of Christ, 
to scatter joy like seed 
and all our days, to cherish life, 
to do the loving deed.

Then let us go to serve in peace, 
the Gospel to proclaim. 
God's Spirit has empowered us; 
we go in Jesus' name. 

I'm going to risk sharing the following observation: The word Service has come to mean and refer to so many things and actions that it no longer means much of anything. We pay it lip service (see, there it is again) to such an extent that it's ability to communicate is rendered impotent; at least, that is, when it is stripped of context.

Take a look at the following images regarding service. It each case the term is used accurately in its context. Yet, there are various implications.

So, when we explore the nature of service from our perspective as Lutheran Christians in Franklin County, we will add to this word's resume. 

Grounded in a solid discipline of Listening, and nurtured and refined in Discernment, we are called to engage in a level of Service. We are sent to serve as authentic persons who have experienced the Love of God in Christ Jesus and who now can't help but incarnate this Word in the life and world around us. This is the ideal response and action.

Take a few moments to consider your own call to service. How have you used the word to describe the actions in your life? More than mere busyness, service is something we steward. And like most stewardship, ours can be faithful or not.

Who are we sent to serve?  

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  1. A key thought for me is rooted in the word authenticity. Where and how do we find service that is rooted in authenticity? A friend and I were recently having a discussion around this and she made the comment that “it’s about we, not me...”. So many times inauthentic service is rooted in me, not we. Christian service, service rooted in the faithful calling is ALWAYS about the bigger picture.

    1. Being our authentic self is intimately connected to relationship to others (or the other). I appreciate your observation of the necessity of community.