What is divine service? - SAM DUNNAGE

What is divine service?

  • What is divine service?

What is divine service?

Imagine you’ve been invited to the opening of a fantastic new restaurant. All of your friends have been raving about it. The chef has a fantastic reputation and the restaurant has been designed to optimise your dining pleasure. Every possible detail has been lovingly created just for you.

You arrive with your best friends, in your best dress, excited and ready to be blown away.

When you get there, no one is there to meet you at the door. You chat to your friends, it’s opening night so you appreciate the staff are probably a bit busy.

You wait…

You start to get a bit agitated. This is not meeting your expectations! There are lots of other guests standing around waiting to be seated. Urgh.

You decide to take the bull by the horns and investigate.

You walk into the restaurant and find the door to the kitchen. There’s music playing, amazing smells waft your way. You hear laughing as you turn the corner and then you see the chef and all of the staff having a dinner party.

Your agitation turns to anger!

“What the hell are you doing? You have a restaurant full of guests waiting to be seated and you are in here having a party on opening night! This is a disgrace. YOU ARE SO SELFISH!!!”

“Darling, look at your watch” the chef replies calmly. “You are early. Come back in an hour”.

Still angry but slightly embarrassed you inform your friends and you skulk off to a bar for a Gin & Fever Tree.

On your return you are met by one of the waiting staff you screamed at earlier. He shows no sign of resentment, in fact he’s smiling! He guides you and your friends to your table, melting away your frustration with his charm.

You sit down in a delicious, warm and cosy booth. Shielded from the other diners.

There is no menu.

The waiter simply asks you how you want to feel after you’ve eaten here tonight.

He returns with a masterpiece that was created just for you. As he describes the dish it’s like he’s describing a piece of your soul.

Every mouthful excites your taste buds and gives you a deep sense of satisfaction. Every want has been anticipated and taken care of before you could comprehend, let alone, articulate your desire.

Your friends all have their own unique masterpiece as well. Each one of them transported to their own version of food heaven.

This experience has gone beyond anything you could have dreamed of.

With dilated eyes you ask the waiter if you can thank the chef. You expect him to be hot and bothered but he walks over to your table calmly smiling.

“That was incredible! Blissful! Thank you so much. What’s your secret?”

“Remember earlier? When you saw us in the kitchen and you said we were selfish?”

You have a mild recollection…. “yes”….awkward…

“You were right! We were being selfish! All of the staff got to experience divine service so that they were in a state of bliss when they served you. They guided you there by being there themselves. How else could they take you there?”

“Our secret, my darling, is that we served ourselves first”.


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