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

42- Types of service

  

There are various types of service: some are social and others are spiritual...

About the spiritual service, the Bible says: He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins (Jas 5:20). Also: Take heed to yourself and save both yourself and those who hear you (1 Tim. 4:16). Then it is a service that concerns saving the soul. How glorious!! And the Bible also says: ...Receiving the end of your faith - the salvation of your souls ( 1 Pet 1:9).

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As for the social service and because of its sublimity, God made it a scale for judgment in the last day:

St-Takla.org Image: Kindergarten service at St. Takla COC Church صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: صورة من خدمة الحضانة بكنيسة القديس تكلاهيمانوت

St-Takla.org Image: Kindergarten service at St. Takla COC Church

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: صورة من خدمة الحضانة بكنيسة القديس تكلاهيمانوت

As He says to those on His right side:... For I was hungry and you gave Me food: I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me (Mt 25 : 35-40). Then He explained this by saying: ... In as much as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. Considering all those needy people exactly as Himself...

And the Bible also says: Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world (Jas 1:27).

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We have seen types of services that include the whole society and have exceeded to an international level...

World organizations such as the Red Cross and ambulance societies, world organizations for aid and the like, they offer help to those who are in need wherever they are, whether in countries where natural disasters, such as floods occurred, or military disasters or famines. Relief comes to them from far away countries that maybe they never knew before and never had any relationships with them. But it is the humanitarian feeling and the love towards all that automatically rushes to help those who are in need.

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These secular world organizations have no relation to the church to do such things, so how much more appropriate for us?

Your are required to do something for your brother, the human being, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. God gave us the example of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10: 30-37 ) who helped a man on the road, although there was animosity between his people and this mans people. But it is the love that does not know discrimination.

Nobody should say to himself : I am not called for service! No, you are called to love all and to express this love by serving. As for the educational service, it needs you to be sent by the church (Rom 10:15), because not everyone is suitable for preaching and teaching...

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Then there are many types of service and each one can serve according to the grace given to him from God.

Nobody can ever say that God did not grant him any abilities for service. He must be able to do something... The serving person, I mean the one who has the spirit of service, you find him serving in all fields: at home, at the work place or at school, at church, on the road... with everyone and everywhere; he is a giver and whoever meets him has to receive something from his giving.

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Ask yourself then : what is the share of others in my life?

Consecration needs a call. As for the general service, it needs only love and the desire of the heart to serve others. This in itself is a call from the heart... I remember once that a surgeon asked me what could he do for others. I said to him: At least one tenth of the fees you receive for the operations that you perform should be given to the poor and the needy. And so God would have a share in your knowledge and in your work. And you express your love for the poor by reducing your fees when you charge them...


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