The need to serve and love one another


Margaret Brown is one of The Resident’s longest standing contributors and has lived in the Algarve for more than 20 years. As well as Point of View, she also writes Country Matters twice a month.

IN LAST Thursday’s Study Group held in Luz Church by Chaplain Haynes Hubbard we read and discussed Luke Chapter 22.

It was the time of The Passover and the chief priests wanted rid of Jesus because of what he was teaching. During supper, which was to be Christ’s last on earth, after serving each disciple with bread: “This is my body which is given for you” and with wine: “This is my blood which is shed for you” he told the twelve sitting with him at the table that one of them was going to betray him to the authorities.

While they were arguing as to who this might be, Judas left to tell the Chief Priests where to find Jesus and he accepted their payment of 30 pieces of silver. Meanwhile, the argument round the table had become one about individual status and who among the Eleven was the greatest.

It was then that Jesus instructed them to serve one another as he had served during his ministry. “The greatest shall be as the least, and the one who rules like the one who serves”.

While discussing what we had just read, someone declared that contemporary society was all take and no give, the ethos of service replaced by a ‘me first’ attitude. At the time and wearing obligatory hair shirts, there was a general consensus but as the days passed that conclusion struck me as facile and superficial, ignoring completely the silent majority that serves day in, day out neither expecting nor receiving recognition. Likewise members of the armed forces serve and die for their country, and despite cynicism inspired by a few self-serving politicians in government, the remainder serve their constituents as best they can. Not all who serve are Christians but because our Christian roots go back to before the 4th Century AD, the need to serve and love one another has become intrinsic to our make-up.