The Third Way of Service
(19) Jesus took on himself the form of a servant. He came not to be served, but to serve. He went about doing good: healing the sick, preaching good news to the poor, and binding up the broken hearted.Jesus took on the form of a servant. And I suspect most of us immediately think of the hierarchical implications of the word ‘servant’: this is someone who was subject to the authority of another. This is not a position that most people in modern Western society feel comfortable with.
But I wonder if we should put more emphasis on the service of a servant. If as Miroslav Volf suggests, God is the ultimate giver, then in taking on the form of a servant Jesus is simply reflecting the divine giving in human life.
And this again points us to the generosity that came up when we looked at poverty/simplicity. That was generosity in the sense of giving of one’s goods. This is generosity in the deeper sense of giving of oneself. And this is to be the model for a Franciscan’s approach to all the work he or she does.