Serving, like Christ

This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”. Lewis connection follows:

"Scripture: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark: 10, 45)


"Through His example, the Savior taught us to live not in order to be served, but to serve. It is not easy to fulfill this command. Although people often express well-known truths about the greatness of serving one’s neighbor, to truly prove this conviction through deeds, one must be completely filled with the action of the Holy Spirit. The essence of Christ’s teaching consists in seeing in every encounter, even a chance encounter, an opportunity to serve someone. And by loving God with our whole heart, we cannot but love our neighbor as well; every service to them is a service to Christ Himself. This is clearly indicated in the parable of the Last Judgment. The Lord accepts for Himself everything that is done for our humble and poor brethren. Our whole life would change if we could see Christ Himself in every suffering person that we encounter.

"Sometimes we deeply regret that we did not live during the time of Christ; how joyfully, it seems to us, we would drop everything in order to follow Him and serve Him. But let us not forget that our faith and our service are of great value to Him now, when centuries have passed since the time of His life on Earth. ‘Blessed are those who have not seen, but have believed’ (John: 20, 29), said the Lord.

"And so, seeing Christ Himself in everyone, we must not pass anyone by or treat anyone carelessly or with indifference. We must always be prepared, without commotion or noise, to serve everyone however we can. How much need, how much evil, how much moral and emotional hunger surrounds us everywhere; we can certainly find fertile ground everywhere for works of love, for God’s work.

"It does not say anywhere that the Savior helped by giving money, but what He gave was much more precious. He did not push anyone away, did not offend anyone, did not send anyone away without a word of love and consolation. In this sense everyone can imitate Christ by treating with tenderness and humility everyone that comes to him. By always having in one’s heart a sincere desire to lighten another’s burden, we can do a great deal and be useful and bring comfort wherever there is an unbearable burden.

"Every shallow feeling of self-love and pride which makes us expect something from others will vanish for the one who truly has the Spirit of God within him. Being content with the most humble place in our lives, let us be vigilant and ‘let our loins be girded’ (Luke: 12, 35), in order to be always ready, following Christ’s example, to wash the feet of our lesser brethren.

“No labor can seem demeaning for one who has the Spirit of Christ within him! On the contrary, bearing in mind that He, Who was Almighty and All-holy was “like a servant” among people (Luke: 22, 27), let us try to be worthy of being involved in any work which ennobles a person – ‘let the greatest among you be your servant… Whoever humbles himself will be exalted’ (Mat: 23, 11-12).”

I think much of Lewis’s life was a life of service: to Mrs. Moore, the mother of his friend, Paddy, whom he promised to care for in the event of Paddy’s death (regardless of whatever relationship he may have had with her in the beginning); in caring for Joy’s two boys after Joy’s death; in answering the countless letters he received from his admirers; and, of course, almost everything he wrote was a great service to all of us in our Christian life.


“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)