How dirty are your hands?
I remember people telling me many years ago, that when they went for a job interview they were often asked to show their hands to see if they looked as if they were working hands. I really enjoy working in the garden and I much prefer to do it without gloves, so when I enter the house my wife is not too excited when I approach the sink to wash them.
Hands tell a story, the hands of Moses held the staff of God, the hands of the psalmist David were often held up in worship and praise, the hands of Peter and John reached out to a lame beggar and raised him to his feet healed and the hands of Jesus show the nail prints that say he was willing the get his hands bloodied for our sins, he was willing to die in our place.
I wonder, what do our ‘church hands’ look like? In the famous passage in Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus gives the example of “the Sheep and the Goats” where he speaks of those who help the hungry, thirsty, the stranger, sick, those in need of clothes or imprisoned, making the point that when we help or do not help it is as if we are helping or not helping Christ.
The way that we use our ‘church hands’ reflect either our love or our disregard for others as well as our love for Christ or our lack of concern.
The strap-line of our church is “God within – reaching out” and both are essential to a healthy church.
Firstly is the need to dwell on God within, spending time in his presence, reading his word and knowing his will.
Secondly, we need to show the God within to the people outside our building walls. This is shown by our love, our prayers and our practical support.
Simon, Rosie and I have just completed the four regional days using the theme “church: more than a preaching station?” and concentrating on good pastoral care, not just for those inside our churches but to our wider communities because whatever we do for the least of those in our wider communities we do for Christ.