PARADOXICAL

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

 

The paradox of Christian service

Last Sunday at the community assembly (Kassel Condo Penthouse, Taft cor. Vito Cruz, Manila), our Music Ministry (MM) members were missing. The whole bunch of them was in Meycauayan, Bulacan, on a youth outreach, together with a few key leaders. This meant we were to sing a capella during Mass and worship. We expected a lousy Mass and worship ahead, but we were in for a surprise.

What happened was, as noted by Kuya Ed, everybody sang like a member of the Music Ministry, wary as we were of the gaping hole the MM members' absence left. Expecting to be crippled by silence, we sang our hearts out instead. Of course, we would much prefer that the singers and musicians were all there, but the Mass and the worship were no less solemn and uplifting.

I couldn't help but gush and be humbled. "Wow, we can survive without the Music Ministry!"

It dawned on me God doesn't need us. After all, He can easily replace the ministry, or any other service group for that matter, with other people.

Serving Him, I was reminded, is more a privilege than a sacrifice. If we think we give too much in service, invest too huge a sum or energy and emotion, we are mistaken. The service was made available to us, for our own good! Even when on the surface we are the one giving unselfishly, giving our all, we actually are getting something good and virtuous from the service, if only we look hard. For example, maybe had we not been in service, we could be servicing the world and the devil in many creative ways. Or we could be growing stale or rusty as half-baked Christians.

This opened my eyes to this unraveling pattern in the spiritual life, particularly the nature of Christian service. In accepting the call to serve, there is a secret, a surprise to anyone who dares say yes: we get more than we give.

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