These Hands

“They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream.” Jeremiah 17:8

 

I know most of us read as a child the wonderful children’s story, The Little Red Hen. It has great truth for us, as adults, as well.

 

 

Once upon a time there was a little red hen who scratched about the barnyard until she uncovered some grains of wheat. She called her neighbors and said, “If we plant this wheat, we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant it?

 

 

“Not I,” said the cow. “Not I,” said the duck. “Not I,” said the pig. “Not I,” said the goose.

 

 

“Then I will,” said the little red hen. And she did.

 

 

The wheat grew tall and ripened into golden grain. “Who will help me reap my wheat?” asked the little red hen.

 

 

“Not I,” said the cow. “Not I,” said the duck. “Not I,” said the pig. “Not I,” said the goose.

 

 

“Then I will,” said the little red hen. And she did.

 

 

At last it came time to bake the bread. “Who will help be bake the bread?”   asked the little red hen.

 

 

“Not I,” said the cow. “Not I,” said the duck. “Not I,” said the pig. “Not I,” said the goose.

 

 

“Then I will,” said the little red hen. And she did.

 

 

She baked five loaves and held them up for her neighbors to see. They wanted some, in fact, demanded a share. But the little red hen said, “No, I can eat the five loaves.”

 

Psalm 134:2:  Lift up your hands to the sanctuary And bless the LORD.

 

So many times in our religion, we come to church and we want all the good things that are being talked and sung about. But we can’t have those things unless we incorporate those things into our lives, unless we are willing to do the work and become the teaching.

 

 

During the World War II, a church is Strasbourg was destroyed. Nothing remained except a heap of rubble and broken glass, or so the people thought until they began clearing away the masonry. They found a statue of the Christ still standing erect. In spite of all the bombing, it was unharmed except that both hands were missing. Eventually, rebuilding of the church began.

 

 

One day a sculptor saw the figure of Christ and offered to carve new hands. The church officials met to consider the sculptor’s friendly gesture and decided not to accept the offer. Why? Because the members of that church said, “Our broken statue touches the spirits of men, because He has no hands to minister to the needy or feed the hungry or enrich the poor, except our hands. He inspires. We perform.”

 

 

 

Today Christ has no hands, but your hands to do His work. Christ has no feet, but your feet to lead humans in the way. Christ has no tongue to tell humans how to live. Christ has no help, but your help, to bring humans out of despair. You are the only Bible the careless world will ever read. You are the gospel. You are the creed. You are the Lord’s last message, given in word and given in deed.

 

 

 

 

Longfellow could take a worthless sheet of paper, write a poem on it, and make it worth tens of thousands of dollars – quite a genius. Rockefeller could sign his name to a piece of paper and make it worth a million dollars – that’s capital. Uncle Sam can take gold, stamp an eagle on it, and make it worth $20.00 – that’s money. A mechanic can take material that is worth only $5.00 and make it worth $50.00 – that’s skill.

 

 

An artist can take a fifty-cent piece of canvas, paint a picture on it, and make it worth tens of thousands of dollars – that is art. Make no mistake. God can take a worn out, stressed out, sick life, cleanse it in the purity of the Christ, put God’s Spirit in it, and make it a blessing to humanity — that is God active in your life and in mine.

 

 

Today Christ has no hands, but your hands to do His work. Christ has no feet, but your feet to lead humans in the way. Christ has no tongue to tell humans how to live. Christ has no help, but your help, to bring humans out of despair. You are the only Bible the careless world will ever read. You are the gospel. You are the creed. You are the Lord’s last message, given in word and given in deed.

 

 

A native of the Congo once prayed a prayer that I love. Listen to this prayer.

 

 

“Dear Lord, You be the needle and I be the thread. You go first, and I will follow wherever you may lead.” Jesus Christ talked a lot about “follow Me.” Once such example is in Mark 1:17 where He said, “. . . Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men. “

 

 

 

What does it really mean to follow Jesus Christ? It means to come after, proceed, succeed, supplant, happen, emanate, arise, model after, comply with, be guided by, pattern, echo, duplicate, comprehend, and understand, plus any synonyms I may have left out.  We are all here following Jesus Christ. We are here to echo the patterns, to comprehend and to understand.

 

 

How do we follow Jesus Christ? We follow by becoming that living example of the Christ teachings in our own lives. Christianity is participatory religion. It is not religion just to come and hear the message. It is religion to come, hear the message, and then incorporate the message into our own lives. That is when religion comes alive.

 

 

In the Bible it says this about religion: “Prove me!” We are here to prove the teachings. We are here as Christians to go the extra mile, to take on these teachings in our own lives and live them.

 

 

The Holy Bible is a cookbook for your life. It tells you how to mix the ingredients in your life, prepare them, cook them, and then serve them. A human being is only as good as his or her ingredients. You must mix together your own ingredients and become all that you can become.

 

 

A Christian is one through which Christ thinks, a heart through which Christ loves; a voice through which Christ speaks; a hand through which Christ helps.

 

 

The poet has written:

 

If God can hang the stars on high,
Can paint the clouds that drift on by;
Can send the sun across the sky,
What could God do through you?

 

If God can send a storm through space,
And dot with trees, the mountain’s face;
If God, the sparrow’s way can trace,
What could God do through you?

 

If God can do such little things as count our hairs, or birds that sing,
Control the universe that swings,
What could God do through you?

 

 

Think on that for a moment.

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