A God Who Serves

I’ve been nagged lately by the idea that God doesn’t want to be served but to serve people, and therefore me. Jesus says this outright, that he “did not come to be served, but to serve.” Elsewhere God is described as the only god who acts for those who wait for him.

This seems like an absolutely critical distinction to me. If God actually doesn’t act on behalf of those whom he is in relationship with or meet the needs of the people he loves so much then he is nothing more than a collection of ideals, the projection of the best humans can imagine about the world and themselves, and a catch-all afterlife solution. But if he is active, a God who is alive, then he is more than a theology or set of moral or philosophical beliefs – he is a person, a real and active force in the world with separate and distinct intentional power who has character and intentionality that affects my life in real ways.

I’m not talking here either about an inductive view of causality, simply looking around at the needs of humans and of me personally that are already being met on a regular basis, the fact that there is air to breathe and food to eat and those sorts of things, and calling those the extent of God’s “serving” me. Then I’m just tagging what already is with my God-pen and calling it supernatural – though I wouldn’t necessarily call these things merely chance or fate either.

If this is true, if the universe really is at its core relational, and at the heart of it is a person who transcends the chaos of humanity’s limitations and hurtful choices and who wants not only to be known to exist, but to show us humans how to navigate our madness and meaninglessness and emerge into a truly happy life (if not necessarily successful or tragedy-free, though that is another post) – if these things could be real then I have to think this God is somehow making himself known in my life on a regular basis, that he is acting and speaking however God acts and speaks (I’m going on the assumption that there’s more to it than natural disasters and conflagrant foliage), and that more than that he wants me to notice. He couldn’t be this sort of God if he didn’t want me to know it.

I think perhaps I am starting to look for him again.

  1. Benjamin
    October 10, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Ah, conflagrant foliage – I just love the interesting word usements that you structure! If I am reading you right (and I likely am not), I doubt that you are pondering the existence of God. Instead, you seem to be trying to discern how God desires to interact with His creation. More specifically, you are dealing with the struggle to fight the natural belief that that which is created was created for a single purpose – to serve the creator. To think that a creator can serve it’s creation goes against all logic. I don’t want to offer any simple solutions to this logic bomb, especially in the bottom comments of a blog article. But I do want to concur that all signes point to a God who is indeed working for us, with us, and through us – not just at opportune, momentous occasions, but every day, in everyting we do. It appears to me that we are much more valuable and worthy of being served than we tend to think. Jesus gave the parable of the man with the field, in which the man found a treasure was hidden there and so he sold everything he had in order to purchase the field and have the treasure for himself. Often, that parable is interpreted as a mission statement – sell all you have and take up the word of God as your treasure forever. That is well, good and true, but there are often double meanings in the parables, and I like to believe that <> am the treasure of which Jesus speaks, a treasure to the Lord, and that He gave all that He was – His own life, in order to purchase us for all eternity. Now, if He paid that much for something, he must value that more than any other treasures in the universe. So why would we find it so surprising that He takes pride in us, holds us close to him, secures our future for us, and desires to never part from us? Sorry, hate to end a comment with a rhetorical question, so consider this sentence as the end of my comment, and this sentence is not a rhetorical question.

  2. Benjamin
    October 10, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Sorry – gotta love HTML markup – the “” symbols above were meant to surround “I”, saying “I am the treasure”. Instead, the brackets ended up not displaying the “I”, and formatting the rest of the paragraph in italics. Oh, and I notice I accidentally spelled signs with an “e” (“signes”) – this is the french spelling of the word, and it appears that my french classes have begun to brainwash me.

  3. October 10, 2008 at 9:38 am

    A likely excuse… 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts!

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