Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Sermon Without Words

I experienced the body of Christ in action recently, and I'm still stunned by the beauty of it. I tell you about it so you can get a glimpse of what Christ intended us to be.

I had injured my back picking up firewood and it hurt. A lot. Standing wasn't so bad, but sitting? Sitting was terrible. The longer I sat, the worse my leg hurt. If I sat very long, I dragged my leg, so I stood. I put my computer on the kitchen island and worked standing up. It's a very trendy work position and I felt marvelously productive.

In my defense, I also gave myself appropriate treatment. Tincture of time is usually the safest route in this kind of problem. Rest. Heat. Anti-inflammatories. I did all that. I also asked my sister and my Sunday School class, and one of my friends to pray. Then, I proceeded to suffer in silence. Well, it wasn't really silence. I whined to the Lord until even I was ashamed of my whining.

None of that is the good part. (Don't be distracted by my hurt back, please. It's not the point.)

It was the monthly meeting of our Emmaus small group. We met at my house, and I had scurried around all day getting ready. The food was cooked. The table was set. Even my blue glass Tiki torches were ablaze. (My love for Tiki torches is a topic for another day.) I was ready in plenty of time, so I sat down to read for an hour before people arrived. 

I sat to eat. 

I sat on the couch to visit.

Two hours into the evening, I had a recurrence of my back problem and the leg hurting and dragging. Walking might help, I thought, so I walked to the kitchen.

One of the men said, "Miss Leanna, you're dragging your leg." It went from there. No one would be satisfied until the tale was told. 

"Why didn't you call us?" My sweet friends were not happy with me. 

"Well, it was better, but it got worse after I unloaded 600 pounds of feed."

And you didn't think one of us would come do that for you?" 

They shook their heads in wonder at my foolishness.

Then, I saw the body of Christ in action. They gathered around me and prayed, then sent me to bed. They folded up the chairs and table and put them away. They loaded the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen and gathered all the supplies we'd been using in a neat stack next to the cabinet where they're usually stored. 

I was already in bed when I got a text. "Everything's done and we've locked the doors. Hope you feel better."

The body of Christ wasn't through. They checked on me repeatedly to be sure I was resting and had the care and help I needed. They continued to pray. Despite their very busy lives, they cared for me.

I can't begin to express how loved I felt. I experienced people being the hands and feet of Christ and it was beautiful beyond compare.

If I didn't already know Jesus, I would want to after this experience, and it's left me pondering. If I, and the rest of the body of Christ, loved the world the way they loved me through my back problem, we could make a difference that words never will.

They preached me a sermon without words.

My friends didn't just talk about Jesus' love, they showed me by their actions. 

I can't tackle the whole world, though I'd like to try, but I can care for those around me, including those who don't know Jesus. I can make a difference in my community and, in so doing, in my world, and you can, too. 

"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, 
to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, 
even the least of them, you did it to Me.'" 
Matthew 25:40 nasb

It's time the body of Christ preached a sermon the world can understand. 

Serving Christ by serving others. It's a sermon that needs no words, the kind of sermon that can change the world. 

Preach on, brothers and sisters. No words required.
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In case you missed one of this week's posts, here are the links:  Does God Know When I Will Die? Part 1Does God Know When I Will Die? Part 2How to Live LongerIs Longer Life Worth the Cost of Obedience?The Changing of Our Culture: Physician Assisted SuicideThe Opportunity in Trialsand The Monarch Migration Badge

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