My Morning Liturgy before serving others

O Christ Who Made Himself the Servant of All,

I would set my heart and my affections upon you-and upon you alone-for I can only serve others rightly when such service is undertaken from first to last as an act of devotion offered to you.

In serving you, I am freed from my my need for the praise of others.  So that even if my kindnesses are shed from scarred hearts as rain from a sloped tin roof, my joy will not be dimmed, for I will know that you have received and remembered each act of sacrifice, and reckoned it as love rendered to you.

So let my love be sincere, and let my service be fearless, O Lord.

I would serve in imitation of you , who poured out your life for all. I would serve knowing that your Spirit is ever at work in the lives of those I serve, ever calling, ever drawing, ever seeking to soften the hearts encased in fear and disappointment and anger and Idolatry.  So let my kindness and sacrifice fall like warm shafts of sunlight on icy ground.  

I cannot know the end of another persons story.  Our lives so often only briefly intersect.  So let me be content to minister regardless of visible outcomes, trusting that the small mercies I extend will be woven into the larger theme of redemption at work in the lives of others as you woo them to yourself, drawing their hearts by graces offered, and and shaping my own heart too in this process of learning to serve well, and by learning to serve well, learning to love well.

Amen