Ch. 10: Empty to Fill
Excerpts: Eucharisteo is also giving grace away. Without the washing of feet, eucharisteo isn’t complete. Communion is only complete in service. Communion always leads us into community. God calls me to do thanks. To give the thanks away. The moment you think other people owe you something for your pains of serving them, you will begin to bargain for reward, to angle for applause. But when Christ is at the center, when dishes, laundry, work is my song of thanks to Him, joy rains. Passionately serving Christ alone makes us the loving servant to all. Our happiness comes not in the having, but in the handing over. We are called to complete the communion service in service. I’m the one who needs to ask if I’ve been a blessing. God answers our pleas for a fulfilling life with His promise: “I will bless you…and you will be a blessing.” (Gen. 12:2) The way through the pain is to reach out to others in theirs. The daily mess–again my chance to wholeheartedly serve God. The daily liturgy of thanks.
I serve, but it usually isn’t a song of thanks. Even when I’m happy doing it, that happiness usually isn’t flowing from an overwhelming gratitude. It’s more just that I’m happy–or not tressed out–in that moment. I suspect this aspect of eucharisteo will take me a little longer to implement than the others. I have found it easier to identify things for which to be thankful than to have that thanksgiving motivate my acts of service.
But I love the idea of seeing the daily mess as an opportunity to once again serve God with all my heart. And to be thankful for it, in it, and after it.
And I was really struck by the truth that the way through pain is to reach out to others in theirs. In my trial, I have found a lot of healing, perspective, and reward in being able to help, comfort, or show compassion to others going through their own suffering.