What is the very heart and essence of the Lord’s service, the work of the Lord? The answer is found in this word — representation. That may include many things, it may cover a lot of ground, but it may be a very simple matter indeed without a great many things. It means simply this, our being on this earth implying the Lord, the very fact that we are here carrying with it the implication of Christ. It conveys quite positively the fact that the Lord Jesus has not departed from this world, has not left this earth, but while in glory is also here quite definitely and positively.
It may often be quite impossible to say much about it. Now, do not make that a cover for silence. Sometimes it is impossible to say very much; sometimes it is impossible to do very much, to engage in the various forms of activity in what is called the Lord’s service. There may be very severe limitations and straitness may be on all sides. It does not necessarily affect the matter of the Lord’s service at all; that is not the point.
In the first instance, the service of the Lord is not the amount said nor the number of activities engaged in. The Lord’s service is a matter of being, in the first instance. It is this tremendous implication carried effectively and positively in a vessel, in a witness, in a being; the implication that God is here, the Lord is here, the Lord is in His world, the Lord is in the midst, the Lord is available, the Lord is accessible, the Lord is near, the Lord is real, the Lord is living, the Lord is willing, is ready, the Lord is at hand — all that as a many-sided implication of our being on the earth. That is the service of the Lord. That is the very heart and essence of service.
The Divine thought of representation is that the Lord is present and known by means of representation. This matter of representation for God is the very heart and essence of service.