Monday, March 10, 2008

Lord, Give Me the Heart of a Servant

This week's Lent topic at my church is "service." Probably nothing is more contrary to human nature than putting others' happiness and convenience before our own--unless we are so overcome with love for the people in question that it fills us with joy just to see them smile.

Such totally unselfish love is generally restricted to new parents and new sweethearts. Very few of us give it to strangers, or even to longtime friends and family members whose faults we are all too aware of--let alone to our enemies. That makes it all the more amazing that Jesus--Who knew everyone inside out, Who had the riches of Heaven at His call, and Who had His heart broken repeatedly even by His closest friends--was a loving Servant to the end, willing not only to do the menial tasks everyone else felt too important for, but even to die in agony to save others from eternal pain--and those the very others who had repeatedly rejected His leadership and ignored His love (see Romans 5:7-8).

And we--even the best of us--are among those rebels. Nor can we, on our own power, summon up the great love and service Christ embodied. We need to constantly allow Him to fill us with His selflessness and caring. Even for those who don't deserve it. Especially for those who don't deserve it.

After all, neither do we.

Lord, give me the heart of a servant,
A will full in tune with Your own,
A joy found through love of my neighbor,
And thirst for Your glory alone.

Lord, give me the heart of a servant;
Lord, cast out all pride from my soul--
All longing for wealth and for pleasure--
Lord, let my devotion be whole.

Lord, give me the heart of a servant;
Though I may have little to share,
Let what I may need count as nothing,
But teach me for others to care.

Lord, give me the heart of a servant,
That, when my life's journey is through,
My works may shine pure for Your glory--
And I will forever serve You.

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