While we may be tempted to ask, “Where is God?”, God is asking, “Where are my people?“ It is up to us to be His hands for these folk in the coming days.
This was the Facebook status of a good friend of mine just hours after an EF-5 tornado devastated the city of Joplin, Missouri. My husband and I spent three years living in a small town about 35 miles north of Joplin. It is a city we have come to know well, with many friends and acquaintances who have been affected by the disaster. Naturally, it has touched us deeply. As I was watching some of the news coverage, I was reading through Isaiah 40. “Comfort, o Comfort my people” says the Lord. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed.”
As God’s children, we are called to be the voice of comfort to those in need. “You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’” And how do we show God to those in need? By working together to meet the needs of people in our communities.
Kenda Creasy Dean, in her book The Godbearing Life uses Mary the mother of Jesus as a model for Christian discipleship. Mary literally bore Jesus into the world. She carried him in her womb, gave birth to him, raised and nurtured him so that he could fulfill the will of God in his life, death and resurrection. In the same way, Dean states that Christians are called to bear Christ into this world. We bear Christ into the world when we seek healing in the midst of hurt, when we reach out to others in their moments of disaster, whether they be natural or man-made.
When we take the time to say “I love you” in the name of Christ it has a profound impact on the world. When we gather relief items for a city in need, when we collect canned goods for the local food pantry, when we provide toys for children being placed into foster care, when we send a note of encouragement to someone struggling or pray with someone who is sick or dying, we affirm that “the Lord is the everlasting God…whose understanding no one can fathom, who gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘your God reigns!’” (Isaiah 52:7) Feet are not inherently beautiful, yet when they work for God, they are transformed. Let your feet be beautiful this week! Bring good tidings to someone in need.
Bear Christ into the world–although the harvest is plentiful and the workers few, God’s power gives all of us working for the Lord strength!!