We want to continue today our thinking about service as a spiritual discipline.
A couple of weeks ago I had occasion to look at the website of the Rescue Mission in Roanoke, Virginia ( http://rescuemission.net ), and was amazed at the number of “services” they offer. For example, housing for men woman and children in need, recovery programs for those dealing with addiction, a recovery arts program which uses art as a means to help, The Mending Wings Learning Center which offers courses and tutoring, meals are served, there is a free clinic, Angels with Scissors (where hairstylists provide service), a legal services ministry, a thrift store, a Super shopper program (you purchase a Kroger gift card, can add more funds to the card and 3.5% of anything you buy with the card goes to the rescue mission), they sponsor a running event each Thanksgiving to raise funds, and then there are the volunteers and board members who give their time to help the mission and the people using the services of the mission.
Their mission statement is “helping hurting people in Jesus’ name.” I saw on the web page, “The Rescue Mission is the the church in overalls.”
Would any of us question that we are all called to love our neighbor and help hurting people? Is not such “service” at the core of our Christian life. But have you ever thought of service as a spiritual discipline? How or when is service a spiritual discipline for us? Is all service a spiritual discipline?
Was St Francis de Sales saying something mistaken, meaningless or profound when he said, “It is our works, whether good or bad, that form us …”