Serving others

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

"Scripture: “I am among you as one who serves” (Luke: 22, 27)
"His service continues to this day. Even now He girds His loins in order to wash our feet. Again and again He offers us His Holy Body as food and gives us the Chalice of His Holy Blood to drink. He continues to bear our infirmities. In fulfilling the will of His Father, He extinguishes His own will so that the Heavenly Father, dwelling in Him, acts through Him.
" ‘You are Christ’s’ (1 Cor. 3, 23). Let us remember Whom we belong to, and let us always carry out His will. Let Christ, and not ourselves, live in us. He sacrificed everything, and finally sacrificed Himself in order to complete the work entrusted to Him by the Heavenly Father.
“Let us also not spare anything and not let any sacrifice hold us back, so that some day we hear the following words: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, come and share your Master’s happiness’ (Mat: 25, 21).”

It seems to me that “serving others” is an expression of love, or “charity”, as Lewis called it in “The Four Loves”.

There are many references to “charity” in Goffar’s “C.S. Lewis Index”. One of them is from Lewis’s letter to a Mrs. Johnson, of Feb. 18, 1954:

"Of course taking in the poor illegitimate child is ‘charity’. Charity means love. It is called Agape in the N.T. to distinguish it from Eros (sexual love), Storge (family affection), and Philia (friendship). So there are 4 kinds of ‘love’, all good in their proper place [here Lewis anticipates, of course, what he would write in “The Four Loves” several years later], but Agape is the best because it is the kind God has for us and is good in all circumstances. (There are people I mustn’t feel Eros towards, and people I can’t feel Storge o Philia for: but I can practice Agape to God, Angels, Man and Beast, to the good and bad, the old and the young, the far and the near.)

“You see Agape is all giving, not getting. Read what St. Paul says about it in First Corinthians Chap 13 [see my signature quote below – DZ]. Then look at a picture of Charity (or Agape) in action in St. Luke, chap 10 vv. 30-35 [parable of the Good Samaritan]. And then, better still, look at Matthew chap 25 vv. 31-46 [parable of the Sheep and Goats]: from which you see that Christ counts all that you do for this baby exactly as if you had done it for Him when He was a baby in the manger of Bethlehem: you are in a sense sharing in the things His mother did for Him. Giving money is only one way of showing charity: to give time and toil is far better and (for most of us) harder.”


“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)