Friday, December 29, 2006

Serving in the Name of God

This was sent to me by Janet Cassidy today. It really made me stop and think.


Our local newspaper quoted celebrity Jeff Probst of the television show Survivor as having this to say about his experience as a volunteer at a soup kitchen on Christmas:

"It’s a chance to remember how fortunate you are."

Every time I read a quote like this it makes me cringe. The sick help us appreciate our health. The poor help us appreciate being employed, the disabled help us appreciate our abilities and the lost help us appreciate our faith.

It’s as if the sole purpose of those less fortunate is to make us feel grateful for our own status in life.

When we serve with this attitude, the good work is still accomplished, but it is done without love. And without love, there is no dignity. Without love, there is no justice. Without love, it’s simply a self-serving act.

We were so honored by God when, at the service of the world, Jesus came in love and raised us up. Because we are loved by God, dignity and justice belongs to each of us. This is what we can offer others when we serve—love, dignity and justice.

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