From our government’s perspective, service is like those in the industry consisting of the retail trade, transport & storage, information & communication, or the health services industry.1 Anyone who has worked in these service sectors can attest to the work demands required in the long hours put it, the stress and pressures faced.
Turning the clock back a couple of thousand years ago, the apostle Paul also did service which was primarily the ministry of the gospel to the Gentile nations then. Another important service done was the collection of contributions from the Gentile churches and bringing relief to the needy Jerusalem Jewish believers.2 It could not be established as to how much time and effort that Paul and his co-workers had to put in to accomplish what they did. I would think they had to put in a fair amount of time and sacrifices.
Today, we have our Sunday worship services and Wednesday prayer service. They can run regularly because of our collective efforts and everybody doing his part. While we are busy working out these services and ministry, let us not lose sight of what is important. The Psalmist says,
6In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. 7Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: 8I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:6-8
Jesus had accomplished the sacrifice for us, there is nothing for us to do or add to it. He just asks where the desire of our heart is. Is it comfortably snugged in one corner of this world, or is it where Jesus wants it to be? Let Him be central in our hearts in all that we do.
If we are of use to the Lord, we shall continue to be in His service till the end of our days. May He give us the endurance and strength to carry it through!
Ps Frankie Koh
2Kruse, C. G. (1993). Servant, Service. In G. F. Hawthorne, R. P. Martin, & D. G. Reid (Eds.), Dictionary of Paul and his letters (pp. 869–871). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.