and other good things…

Our sister and leadership team member, Carolyn Vance, wrote this poem about love and service. I hope it resonates with you as it has with me. Blessings, –Renée


A lamp is not to be hidden under a jar or basket, it says.

When I live by “should” and “ought” and “must” my light is hidden.  
There is no light for me, none for others.

When I understand servanthood in the context of “should” and “ought” and “must 
I make something that is meant to shine light
into darkness
Not evil, but duty and drudgery.

No light, no fragrance.

What is the look of servanthood that is not duty, obligation, self-negation …
Rather joy?

Jesus served, yes, but he did not self-negate.  
He gave everything, but he did not ignore his own needs.
He is Lord of the dance, not lord of duty.

He offers freedom. “Should” does not.
He offers life abundant. Duty does not.
He offers new life not trudging through “must” and “ought.”
He offers new ways of seeing and understanding, 
That cut the bindings of self-slavery.
His life of “come” and “see” is not a new bondage but a freedom from it.
He offers love, not conscription.

Yes, life is hard.
We are, after all, called to take up our cross … as Jesus did his.
Not easy. Painful, even excruciating for a time.
But not out of duty and obligation,
“for the joy set before me,”

How do I access this joy and love, 
When I so reflexively respond to “ought” and “should?”
How do I learn that “ought” and “should” are not the measure of a Father’s love?
Not the call.
How do I unentangle these inclinations that keep me from 
Becoming more of all that is in God’s possibilities for me?
How do I so easily turn freedom into unfreedom?

I know, life is not just about me, my needs and wants and preferences,
And sacrifice is at times necessary and good.
But a servanthood of duty, “should” and “must” is not
the servanthood of Jesus,
Which is of another sort, 
If I could only imagine it.
Bulletin: 6/30
Order of Service: 6/30
Sermon: Loved Learning to Love
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