Archimandrite Andrew Konanos: What Does It Mean to Be a Servant of God?

When you fast, you don’t come to God to tell Him: “I am doing this now. I want to get paid. I fasted, now give me this or that”. When you go to Sunday service in the morning, you don’t say: “Now I’m going to church. So I’m waiting for a reward from You. ”
One way or another, God will send you His gifts. He loves you without the necessary prerequisites. Not like we do: “Roll my log and I’ll roll yours”.

Even if you do not love God, He still loves you. Didn’t you yourself tell me that you constantly sinned for many years and had nothing to do with the Church at all. Okay. And what did God do to you? Did He punish you? No, you were fine. Favorable conditions at work, good health, nothing bad happened to you. That is, you sinned and in response the Lord answered you with love. And God was saying: “I love you and do not want you to become a Christian to oppress you. I do not need servants”.

You say: “Wait. Do not we constantly say “servant of God”? The servant of God … is baptized, the servant of God … is crowned”. Well, think about it, when the phrase “servant of God” was spoken, in what era? This was said by the Holy Apostle Paul in the era (and the phrase was used in the Old Testament) when the world was filled with kings and everyone said: “I am a servant of king,” and a king said: “I have slaves and subjects”. And the Church appeared, and said: “No, you make a mistake. You are not a servant of anyone. Of no man. Only of the Lord”.

An innovative, radical approach was applied to this expression. “I am not a servant of anyone”. The emperor is standing in front of you at a service and during prayer he says: “The servant of God.” Not your servant, my emperor. No, we are all God’s servants. Do you understand? This expression demonstrates freedom from all subjections. “I am a servant of God. Only of God. That is, I’m free. I am independent of neither anyone nor anything. I am a servant of Him Who was crucified at Calvary, for me not to be anyone’s servant. This is what “a servant of God” means – free, faithful to God. I love Him Who loves me and made me so free.

Look at Calvary. The Lord is extending His hands. He does not bind you, does not force, does not push. He is extending His hands. Full freedom! “My child, look at Me. I open My hands, do what you want, treat Me as you want. I leave you like this, with My hands opened, and tell you: come unto Me or go away. Do what you want. You can understand My open arms as you like”. The Lord accepts both. He says to you: “Either come unto Me, because My love and My Cross attract you, or, since I leave you free, go away”. And when you go to Him, it’s not for making a deal: “Roll my log and I’ll roll yours”. You go to church to enrich yourself with the grace of God, to say “thank you” to Him for loving you. The Lord still loves you before your repentance. A selfish attitude towards Him sometimes manifests itself in us: “I will go to a prayer service to have God as my friend, as my patron”.

Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds

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