Saturday the 15th of September is the day we remember Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), a nun and spiritual reformer whose influence on the church continues to grow to this day. One of the most beautiful contributions to the Christian faith she left with us was a reflection on how the incarnate one, Jesus, once raised from the dead continues that incarnation through the faithful.
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours. - Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)
Each year, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America sets a day for congregations to be the hands and feet of Christ. Our congregation has, for the past few years, expanded that from one day in September to the months of November and December.
Through various mission partnerships and projects, we will support and reach out to our neighbors in lots of different ways. We will end up touching the lives of hundreds of people. God’s work of redeeming and loving this world and every person is something done through our hands, our generosity, our compassion.
In the coming weeks you will hear about Operation Turkey Sandwich during which we will prepare and deliver box lunches on Thanksgiving Day to people who must work or have no other resources. You will hear about how you can support refugees through Lutheran Services of Iowa. Our church school and confirmation groups will work with clients of Mosaic to get to know them and then provide holiday gifts to those individuals. Mosaic residents will also receive pies on Thanksgiving Day. There will be fruit baskets for our homebound members, WIC clients, and food pantry guests. Homebound members will receive cards from the congregation over Christmas. And there is more. Stay tuned!
The call is to have each and all of us, together, become the hands and feet of Christ in the world. God’s work will be done with our hands, our lives. There will be opportunities to give, assemble, and deliver box lunches. Families can find things to do together, and every individual can participate.
As you receive information in the days ahead, take a moment to respond. As we all work together, pray for our efforts – that they be blessed by God and fruitful in every way.
Tim Olson – Lead Pastor