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The Spiritual Man, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

8- The depth in the service

 

Some servants asses their service with wrong measures which have the formal appearance from the outside but have no depth. Like the one who measures his service by the great number of his students or the quantity of lessons and their varieties, and what the students receive of religious knowledge. Or a servant who evaluates his service by his promotion from primary to secondary or to preparation of servants, or other aspects of organization, preparation books or books of visits. And in all of this, he forgets what concerns the depth of the service and its work in leading the students to repentance and to the love of God.

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There could be a servant without a class, but has a deeper service.

Like the servant who works single handed and whoever he meets, attracts him to the love of God and inflames his heart with the words of grace that come out of his mouth. Each day he brings to the church new members who never came to church before...

Or to serve in solving family problems, with hard work, depth and perseverance. He might spend long days, stay up late at night to persuade and convince, so that Gods peace comes to the house, and no one of the churchs elderly servants would know anything about his service...

St-Takla.org Image: Sunday School at one of Coptic Orthodox Churches in Maghagha village, Egypt - Photograph by Jayson Casper صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: خدمة مدارس الأحد في كنيسة في أحد القرى في مغاغة، مصر، تصوير جيسون كاسبر

St-Takla.org Image: Sunday School at one of Coptic Orthodox Churches in Maghagha village, Egypt - Photograph by Jayson Casper

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: خدمة مدارس الأحد في كنيسة في أحد القرى في مغاغة، مصر، تصوير جيسون كاسبر

I know a servant who was working with us more than forty years ago, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. We named his class The Weird Class because he used to bring over youth who wander about in the streets, in coffeehouses and in front of amusement centres, and he turned them not only to permanent students at church, but some of them became servants...

Among the examples of the deep service is the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch....

Philip was walking along the road, saw the Chariot of the eunuch in which he was reading Isaiah the Prophet. He began to explain to him in depth, to attract him to the faith. When the eunuch declared his belief with all his heart ,both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.. How long did this service take, an hour or more or less. But it was deep and fruitful...

Also, the service of John the Baptist and Stephen the Deacon.

In great depth, John the Baptist served about six months or a little more. In this short period, he prepared the way before the Lord with people led to repentance. The Lord said about him, Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist. And also said, ...and more than a prophet (Mt 11:11-9).

Also, Stephen, his service was short but very deep. His tale began in (Acts 6) and was martyred in (Acts 7). He was able to make many multitudes to join the faith. He confuted many of the synagogues: And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke (Acts 6:10).

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The deep word can bear much fruit.

One sermon with the depth of the Holy Spirit in it, added three thousand souls to the faith and were baptized on the fiftieth day...

A person says a word to you which touches your heart and never leaves your mind, walks with you, accompanies you in your sleep and waking, It does much to you. It is a word which came out of the depth and reached the depth. It had its effect, influence and power and turned into doing a deep work, similar to its depth...

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We move to another point which is the depth in worship:


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