My visit to a parishioner gave her the opportunity to show me her garden. It was luscious, vibrant, and full of scrumptious fruit and vegetables. She told me she sees herself as a servant of the plants. “It’s like a revolving cycle,” she said. “I serve them with nurture and care, and they give me sustenance so I can then serve them again.”

Servanthood is an attitude we choose, not something cast upon us. An attitude of service involves our taking responsibility in our world and our immense gratitude for all other aspects of life that serve the general welfare—trees providing oxygen, insects pollinating, water moisturizing, people manufacturing goods, truck drivers delivering, health workers administering wellness, and so on. We all serve one another and the cycle of life.

Our servanthood never ends. Even our rest serves our bodies and minds; our study serves our understanding; our recreation serves our living abundantly.

The attitude of servanthood is contrary to the attitude of taking all one can get or being frustrated that one never can get enough. Such is the attitude fostered in our consumer society. In this negative attitude, other people become objects to take care of our desires.

The kingdom of God, as described and modeled by Jesus, promotes a communion of servants honoring and serving one another, grateful for the gift each brings.

Profound faith trusts in the unseen forces and processes that make up the great cycle of love in our world, which we sometimes express as, “What goes around comes around.” Service, love, and respect come back around to us so we can send them out again.

God, I surrender to being a loving servant. Empower me with your love. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 17:5-10

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Lectionary Week
September 30—October 6, 2019
Scripture Overview

Lamentations opens with a description of the plight of the people of Judah, the Southern Kingdom. The people have been taken into exile as part of God’s judgment for their idolatry. The psalmist struggles to sing the songs of the Lord. In fact, those who overthrew Jerusalem have forced them to sing for their amusement, so the joy is gone. The psalmist prays that one day God will repay the invaders. In Second Timothy Paul praises God for Timothy’s faith and for the legacy of faith that comes through his family. He charges him to preach boldly and without hesitation the gospel of Christ. In the Gospel reading, Jesus challenges the disciples to show greater faith and to understand that we are all servants in God’s kingdom.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Lamentations 1:1-6. How do you allow your imperfections and failings to transform you?
Read Psalm 137. How do you remember your spiritual traditions and sacred places without clinging to them in the rapid changes of our world? How do you look for God’s work in change?
Read 2 Timothy 1:1-14. What spiritual practices help you to “guard the good treasure entrusted to you”?
Read Luke 17:5-10. How might a posture of cyclical servanthood to and with all creation transform or increase your faith?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.