Service as spiritual practice looks for ways to serve as Jesus served. Service can be anything from small acts to big acts. Service can be a smile, a hug, a set of listening ears. It can be giving an hour or more of time to help someone in need. It can be sacrificial.
Martin Luther King, Jr said, “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve…. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Jesus is our model and teacher. Throughout his life he served those around him and then instructed his followers to do the same. Through acts of service Jesus leveled the playing field of life. Whenever we serve another we are given the opportunity to see that person with new eyes and listen with new ears. Through acts of service they become our brother or sister.
Science reveals the health benefits of serving. It increases our happiness, reduces stress, helps us to live longer, lowers blood pressure, and it can reduce mild depression. Combining the spiritual practice with scientific evidence shows the wisdom of Jesus’ words when he said, when we give we receive more than we gave.
The practice of service is simple to understand and yet it can be a bit challenging to do. Simply see a moment to serve and serve: open a door, say a kind word, smile, listen, give of your time and support. Make room for someone else in your schedule. Such moments are everywhere to be found. And when we step into them we reveal God’s love as Jesus did with skin on. We establish a bond between server and the one being served. So practice acts of service and you will be changed and the watch how the world around you changes.