Secret Service (25 June 2020)

Morning Encounter:

Read:

When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to the poor, don’t blow a loud horn. That’s what show-offs do in the meeting places and on the street corners, because they are always looking for praise. I can assure you that they already have their reward. When you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know about it. Then your gift will be given in secret. Your Father knows what is done in secret, and he will reward you.

(Matthew 6.1-4)

Reflect: 

Here, Jesus speaks of three things – giving, prayer and fasting – God-given practices which done well tune our hearts towards God. However they can also be done in a way that brings us praise, honour and respect. Jesus is concerned here with the motive. Jesus understands the human condition so well – how easy it is for us to perform and image-manage in front of others. We are reminded that our worth comes from being loved by God alone and living for an audience of one.

Respond: 

Make it your aim to serve people secretly today. Give your time, energy and resources to others without the need for applause or thanks.

Midday Meditation:

‘Nothing disciplines the inordinate desires of the flesh like service, and nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh whines against service but screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honour and recognition.’

(Richard J. Foster Celebration of Discipline)

Evening Reflection:

Look upon us, O Lord,
and let all the darkness of our souls
vanish before the beams of thy brightness.
Fill us with holy love,
and open to us the treasures of thy wisdom.
All our desire is known unto thee,
therefore perfect what thou hast begun,
and what thy Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer.
We seek thy face,
turn thy face unto us and show us thy glory.
Then shall our longing be satisfied,
and our peace shall be perfect.
(Augustine, 354 - 430)

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