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A Time to Listen, a Time to Learn, and a Time to Serve

 
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Prayer-Soldier
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:53 pm    Post subject: A Time to Listen, a Time to Learn, and a Time to Serve Reply with quote

A Time to Listen, a Time to Learn, and a Time to Serve

Scripture:


And the Lord appeared to him in the vale of Mambre as he was sitting at the door of his tent, in the very heat of the day. And when he had lifted up his eyes, there appeared to him three men standing near to him: and as soon as he saw them, he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and adored down to the ground. And he said: Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, pass not away from your servant. But I will fetch a little water, and wash your feet, and have you rest under the tree. And I will set a morsel of bread, and strengthen your heart, afterward you shall pass on: for therefore are you come aside to your servant. And they said: Do as you have spoken.

Abraham made haste into the tent to Sara, and said to her: Make haste, temper together three measures of flour, and make cakes upon the hearth. And he himself ran to the herd, and took from thence a calf, very tender and very good, and gave it to a young man, who made haste and boiled it. He took also butter and milk, and the calf which he had boiled, and set before them: but he stood by them under the tree. And when they had eaten, they said to him: Where is Sara your wife? He answered: Lo she is in the tent. And he said to him: I will return and come to you at this time, life accompanying, and Sara, your wife, shall have a son.

( Genesis 18:1-10a )

Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister according to the dispensation of God, which is given me towards you, that I may fulfill the word of God: The mystery which has been hidden from ages and generations, but now is manifested to his saints, to whom God would make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ, in you the hope of glory. Whom we preach, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
( Colossians 1:24-28 )

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain town: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who, sitting also at the feet of the Lord, heard his word. But Martha was busy about much serving. Who stood and said: Lord, have you no care that my sister has left me alone to serve? Speak to her therefore, that she help me. And the Lord answering, said to her: Martha, Martha, you are careful and are troubled about many things: But one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.
( Luke 10:38-42 )

Reflection:

There was a time when people sought to serve one another, to provide hospitality, to share time together as a blessing. Even strangers who passed by were seen as an opportunity to share of the blessings to serve. How long did such days exist? The record of history often fails to capture, recount, and encourage the great times of such times of blessings, but they are not gone, for God continues to call us to share the blessings of service.

We might ask of ourselves, why are not we drawn to one another so we might share in joys and happiness and doing for one another in ways which are right and just? Indeed, there are many who desire and wish to do so, who feel the calling of their Creator to live in love of Him and one another. (cf. Matthew 22:36-40), but evil hearts tear at the fabric of what joins us and makes us wary of who might approach us with the intent of harm.

The desire of God is that we should not live in fear of one another, but to live in the service of love and the blessings of what is right and just in the eyes of God. His desire is that we might approach one another with humility, civility, dignity, and respect, so that we may work together to provide an environment for all whereby we might fulfill His commandments of love. So, then, we might ask, in what ways might we serve one another?

Life is complex, and the temptation to over generalize can blind us from the true desires of God. Through the teaching of Jesus, we are brought to understanding of the importance of adherence to the enduring wisdom of the law (cf. Matthew 5:18-19, Luke 16:16-17), but He also teaches that we must not seek the blind mechanics of the law, rather the application of its purpose to encourage us to do His will, to do no harm to one another, and to share the blessings of civility, compassion, charity, and love. (cf. 1 Samuel 22:22, Hosea 6:6, Matthew 9:13, 12:7, John 8:11) He does not call us to parse His Word as might be done within academic study, but to seek understanding so we might live its full purpose and meaning.

To discern what God asks of us and how we should approach one another in the fulfillment of His commandments requires that we first know Him (cf. Hosea 6:3) so that we might open our hearts to Him and allow Him to lead us in all which is right and just. (cf. Matthew 23:2-12, Luke 16:14-15)

As we are told, there is an appointed time for everything. ( cf. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ) We must, then, consider when we are called to serve and when we are called to listen, so that we may better serve. In considering the appropriateness and time of our every action, we must ask ourselves, what is the value of our service if it does not serve the will of God? What is the value of our listening if we do not put His Word into action? What do we share with one another if we do not share the commandments of love? What do we gain if we are able to analyze every academic twist and nuance of the words of scripture, but cannot apply its truth or work in fulfillment of its purpose?

Let us, then, listen to His Word. Let us pray He will enable us to comprehend its meaning. Let us pray He will enable us to live by its purpose. Let us ask Him to help us know the proper time to listen and the proper time to serve. Let us allow Him to prepare us, not only for our benefit, but for the benefit of all He sends to cross our path.

Questions for further reflection:

In what ways do we consider that those to whom we offer service may bring to us the blessings of God?

In what ways do we lift up our sufferings in atonement, not just for our sins, but for the sins of the world?

In what ways might we discern the time to listen and the time to serve?

May the peace and blessings of the Lord be with you always,
Prayer Soldier

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