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by Dr. Yoko Mogi-Hein
On the Fifth Sunday of Easter, I would like to reflect on the first reading of this week; Acts 6:1-7. I believe that the spiritual gift of Service (diakonia) is to identify, assist, and support ministries within the Body of Christ — The Church thereby allowing those ministries to effectively accomplish their desired results.
At various times in life, we all have trouble balancing work and prayer. As a college professor, I consider teaching as vocation; a ministry that I can share my spirit of hope and use my gift to participate in ministries that need people who serve. What type of service do I do on a regular basis? This year, I was given an opportunity to participate in the year-long Vocation Study Group, sponsored by the Program of Faith, Learning & Vocation. Co-facilitated by Prof. Paul Wadell and Ms. Julie Massey, Director of the SNC Campus Ministry, a group of faculty members from various disciplines have met on a regular basis to reflect on vocation to one’s work. And it is through this experience I was able to make much deeper connection to the students and courses that I have been given opportunities to teach during this academic year.
In the reading of Acts 6:1-7, the Hellenist widows were being neglected. The Twelve did not want to “wait on tables”. Jesus was one who indeed waited on table, washed feet, cooked breakfast on the beach. Just a few years after the Jesus was raised as Christ, he needed to show mercy to the widows, the minorities, and the apostles who had once again forgotten his teaching and example. Being a triple minority member (foreign-born, Japanese, woman), and having opportunities to utilize my academic training in pedagogy as well as to share my perspective and experience on the diversity of life in American society is truly a rewarding experience that bring the best in me.
As I reflect on the Scripture, I would like all of us think about the spiritual gift of Service (diakonia) to reach out to someone who may feel neglected in your family, friends, and to a greater extent, people in our global society. We need to bring to mind all the dissensions in our community: locally and globally.