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26th November: To Serve Them All My Days

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Phil 2:5 (NIV)

As a houseman you often seem at the beck and call of everyone in the hospital, `boss', registrars, ward sisters, technicians and, of course, patients. In addition an inordinate amount of time is spent doing things for which five fairly hard years of training seem to have no relevance, filling in forms, making 'phone calls, holding pieces of metal for hours in theatre, etc. It is easy to become resentful and to feel that, as a qualified doctor, you deserve a better lot.

We need then to be reminded of our Lord Jesus Christ's voluntary humiliation for our sakes: 'Who, being in very nature God...made himself nothing, taking the nature of a servant... he humbled himself and became obedient to death -- even death on a Cross!' (Phil 2:6-8). For us, who deserved only his condemnation and wrath, the Son of God left the glory that he shared as an equal with the Father, laying aside the privileges that were his by sovereign right. The hands that set the stars in the heaven learnt to cut and shape wood under the tuition of an ordinary man. The one who lived a life of perfect love and godliness was insulted, despised and beaten by men he loved, as created in his own image. He left the glory of heaven, tasting the dust of earth, that we who are born of dust might share in heaven's glory. `For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich' (2 Cor 8:9).

Saved by his grace we are called to follow his example of humility and service, not resenting tasks that we feel are beneath us because of false pride and in our imagined status. Rather we should seek in his strength to demonstrate to an unbelieving world his spirit of willing service. It is to him that we shall ultimately answer for how we have done the work given to us. `Whatever you do, work at it, with all your heart... It is the Lord Christ you are serving' (Col 3:23-24).

O God, forgive us for the selfish pride that so often wells up in
our hearts, and separates us from you and our fellow men. Help us to
follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lived a life of
perfect service and sacrifice. Fill us with your spirit, that we
may show forth your character in our daily lives for Jesus' sake.

Further reading: Rom 12:1-3, 14-21. Mt 20:25-28.


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