“The Last of all, and the Servant of all” – A Call to Serve.

Yesterday at Church, Father was reading the Gospel. Mark 9:30-37. You can should read it for yourself, but to summarize, the disciples are walking with Jesus, and He is telling them about how he must be killed, but will rise (you know the story). The disciples aren’t paying attention to this uber important thing but are more preoccupied with figuring out who in the group is ‘the best’. Geeze, this sure shows the humanity of the disciples. How many times have we missed the Lord telling us something important because we are preoccupied?
So, Jesus tells them that ‘anybody who wants to be first shall be last of all, and the servant of all.’ Then He brings a child over and embraces it saying “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.” – WOW!

The priest then went on to discuss the gospel in his homily. There were a few things here that stood out to me:

1) I always think of ‘the first shall be last and the last shall be first’ but the addition of “the servant of all” at the end really hit me!

2) Children. We love them. They are precious and protected in our society. Our priest was explaining though that in Jesus’ time, children were at the bottom of society. When it came to something like eating, the adults were taken care of before children. They were not considered a worthy or important part of society.

These two points spoke a simple truth to my heart

* * *

* *

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In loving and serving the people whom society deems unimportant
we are truly loving and serving God.

* * *

Who are the people at the bottom of our society; people who have been deemed as less important? The homeless immediately came to mind for me. Of course, there are also many other people who are sadly often overlooked. I might not know exactly how to make a difference in the lives of the homeless, but I do know that I want to love and serve The Lord, and HE is there in the face of the overlooked and ‘unimportant’.
SO… What now? Can you hear this truth or receive this call to service and not act? Let’s talk practicals, shall we? We all have been blessed with many things and are meant to share them with others. So what do you have to offer? Time? Money? Prayer (Obvi!) Get creative!

{Emily fact: I am a huge fan of making things practical,
taking an idea and implementing it. Also, lists!  ♥  Shall we? }

Maybe you thought of the poor or homeless:
– donate to a food bank
– volunteer at a food bank
– if you can, help them find housing, clothes, a job
– when you see someone asking for money, give to them (food or money)
– if you see someone begging near a grocery store when you are doing your shopping, buy them some groceries too. If you are comfortable, ask what they are really in need of most. If not something like a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter or an oven roasted chicken are easy and won’t require any preparation.
*when I was doing mission work, we would get a lot of food donated to us; more than we needed. We would make up lunch bags to give to anybody we would see who was asking for money, or was clearly in a desperate financial situation. I think it would be a nice thing to do as a family. Your kids would also be more aware of the people in need around them and see how they can help in such a simple way.

free haircut* A laundromat that was offering to do laundry for free for anybody who was homeless and had a job interview. What a simple and big way to help someone get on their feet.
* A hair stylist used his skill and offered free hair cuts to the homeless. Now that’s being creative!

Maybe the elderly, sick & housebound came to mind:
– go and visit at a nursing home or retirement home. The joy you can bring to someone simply by being there, listening to their stories, and taking an interest in their life is immeasurable.
– if you have a special talent, then go to visit and entertain (Piano, singing, etc)
– who doesn’t like receiving mail? If you are short on time but have made some visits, you could write letters or send cards. Even if you haven’t visited, you could send the mail anyways. Call ahead and see if there is anybody who is particularly lonely or in need of some love.
– volunteer! When I was in university, I would run the bingo for the residents at a retirement home once a week. What a hoot that was!

– Offer to come and clean, buy groceries, or cook a meal for someone who is shut in at their own home.
– Do you have a gentle-natured pet? See if the residence is okay with bringing animals in. It’s quite amazing watching people love on an animal. How simple. Your furry friend will no doubt love the extra attention too.

Maybe you thought of somebody with special needs:
– offer to take them to run errands if they are old enough
– offer to take them on outings, or to play. Seriously. Playing. Serving the Lord doesn’t get much sweeter or easier than that! (and for some instant gratification, the smile and laughter of someone with special needs is like nothing else, literally, pure joy!

I’m sure there are other groups of people that crossed your mind, and I know there are lots of other ways you can serve these people. So get out the paper, and brainstorm away!

Now here’s the hardest part – make sure you follow through. It might be one small step for you, but it will have a huge impact on someone’s day, week, month, or year! Seriously, somebody I visited told me I made their month by coming to visit (it was only my first visit with them). It was both sweet and sad. You are truly showing someone that they are important, and that they are loved! Most importantly, in being a servant to all, you are being a servant to The Lord.
And that, is beautiful!

Thanks for stopping by, now go change somebody’s world!!
Emily

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