Service to God

            “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom 12:1)

Have you ever been delightfully surprised by unexpected encounters with works of nature? Coming up on a hill to be greeted by a waterfall, walking through a field filled with wild flowers or chancing upon a patch of shrubs bursting with berries in a forest? Often, these beauties of nature are discovered in hidden places only by those who trod the paths less traveled. These beauties bloom and display their glory even though the chances are that no one will know they even exist.

These works of nature gives us a good Christian lesson. We have heard much about the teaching to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God. However, when we talk about serving God today, what comes to mind are what we do in church. Almost by default, service to God is equated with the visibility and the amount of church work we do. We place importance on work with conspicuity or “titles” at the expense of the hidden works. The amount of church work done is misconceived as correlated with one’s spirituality and with whether one is a living sacrifice to God.

To present our bodies a living sacrifice is not only about participating in church duties. A living sacrifice is actually a much harder service. It entails keeping oneself pure in spirit and in conduct, leading a life pleasing to God, and being in favor also with man (cf Lk 2:52). It’s something we have to do 24/7. It’s about blooming and producing fruit even if no one ever notices, because God is the one we are serving.

To live as a living sacrifice is to shine forth God’s light no matter if people are watching and in all circumstances. We have to carry God’s light in good times as well as in bad times. Whether we are enjoying material wealth or in poverty, whether life is stable or in much insecurity and uncertainty, we need to remember to make each day a service to God.

 

            Question for Reflection:

How can I change the way I am living so that I am a living sacrifice to God each day?

Author
Shuhong Lin
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