This week I promised to share about some individuals who were secret agents, working under the radar, ambassadors for Christ doing the work of the kingdom.
In this series on the Church’s responsibility, I think it is important to investigate what the world longs to see the Church doing. There is a theological debate that keeps some Saints sidelined. Faith or works? The query has us scratching our heads and wondering. Should we believe that God will meet our needs and the needs of the community or should we step out and be the hands and feet of Jesus, the living breathing body of Christ, hands baking the loaves and grilling fishes?
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.-James 1:14
How can we say to our brethren, be warm and be filled without offering the bread. Jesus, the bread of life, who offered the word of life, health to our flesh, chose to feed the multitude before sending them on their way.
“ And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
18 He said, Bring them hither to me.
19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
-Matthew 14: 14-20
Is that the miracle? Jesus multiplies the loaves and fishes in us? We follow in His footsteps and are moved by compassion? Then we give thanks, as the prequel to the miracle of multiplication?
We have faith and do the works that He has commissioned us to do. Take care of the widow and the orphan, our external religious worship (James 1:27). Religion is something that must be practiced, right? Not hidden under a bushel, remember the children’s song? Hide it under a bushel, NO! Let your light shine where all can see it. What is the world looking for? Darkness? Deception? Hunger? Despair? Lack? Disease? Depression? Hate? NO!
For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship]. Romans 8:19
All of creation ‘waits expectantly and longs earnestly’ for Christ’s followers to be made known. Creation waits for us to walk in the compassion of Christ, feeding the poor, clothing the naked, wiping the brow and sending up prayers for the sick. The world waits breathlessly for us to carry out Isaiah 61, as Christ did, to do as we saw Him do- preach the Gospel of great tidings to the meek, the poor, the afflicted.
“I want to see God, who gives gifts in hospitals and gravesides and homeless shelters and refugee camps….” – Ann Voskamp
Tune in next time when for a look into a life of a Saint who fed the poor and clothed the naked, a hero of the faith….