I’ve come to the conclusion that the Christian faith cannot be practiced alone. It’s impossible. In our “personal relationship with Jesus” individualistic culture, that seems anathema, but you just won’t find that kind of individualism in the Bible. The First … Continue reading →
Church attendance is down. That’s partly due to living in a post-churched culture and partly due to more activities that compete for time. People’s schedules are jammed, and for many, church is less essential than so many other agenda items. … Continue reading →
Image by bemky via Flickr
A little boy was scared during a thunderstorm. His Mom said to him, “Don’t be scared, God will keep you safe.”
“But Mom!” the little boy cried, “Right now I need a God with skin on!”
At Christmas, when celebrating the coming of Christ into the flesh, into a physical human body, we celebrate that Christ is literally God with skin on. With that skin, He was not only able to touch people tenderly and hug them, He was also able to suffer and bleed in our place for our forgiveness.
And while we still get His touch in Holy Communion, our world still needs a “God with skin on.” St. Paul says that we, the church, are the body of Christ. Even though Jesus has retained His human body forever, He has called us to be “God with skin on” to the world, specifically our own community. (It’s hard to physically touch someone on the other side of the world, no matter how many of their Facebook statuses we like.)
This is a huge honor. When people need Jesus, the Savior of the world, He has sent you to meet that need.
But isn’t that asking too much? Jesus is God. He’s the Creator of the universe, and He sustains all things in His hands. During His three years of ministry, He showed a kind of compassion the world rarely sees but so needs.
So how can we be God to our community? God is holy and perfect and pure! We have trouble going more than a few minutes without a sinful thought or action, and Jesus didn’t have a full-time job and a family!
Yes, Jesus was able to feed thousands like a human soup kitchen, but when the recipients only focused on their stomachs, Jesus went away. Like the child in the story, God has called you to be the ears of Christ that listen to a hurting friend. He has called you to be the shoulder of Christ to bear the burdens of your coworkers. He has called you to be the hands of Christ that help a friend (or an enemy!) in need. And He has called you to be the mouth of Christ that speaks His Word of comfort, forgiveness, and acceptance. And He’s so sure that He can work through you, He brings people into your life for that specific purpose.
Keep an eye open for them. When they need a hand, even a nail-scarred one, reach out with the hand of Christ, and lift them up.