Functions of hands and feet are common themes in the Bible. In fact, words describing hands are used approximately 1800 times in the Bible, whereas words describing feet are used much less. On many occasions, the Lord’s hands are used as a form of refuge and strength. Perhaps one of the most popular passages of the Bible can be found in Romans 12:4-6a, where Paul refers to the church as the body of Christ.
“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.”
We are called Christ’s body. A body acts as one. It is unified. It is important to realize that without the church, Christ has no body on earth. But, without him, we are merely physical bodies. Together, in unity with Christ, we can represent the spiritual world by how the body moves in the physical world. In researching the Body of Christ, I came upon a quote from Saint Theresa of Avila. She says, “Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.”
The problem is, Christians are failing to be the hands and feet, the body, of Christ. We are failing to represent Christ on earth. Our culture is a culture based on instant gratification of oneself. Television, Music, and even Pornography, all have instant downloads. We can instantly watch television on Netflix, we can instantly download music on iTunes, and, as easy as it is to watch movies on Netflix, it is easy to download pornographic videos. It is easy and instantaneous to please our mental and carnal yearnings.
Our culture is so preoccupied with satisfying ourselves right this instant that we put off God and eventually forget about Him.
Our culture is so used to instant gratification that we do not want to waste our time waiting on God.
Our culture does not have time to be the hands and feet of God.
Our culture is creating a Limbless God.
So how can the church break free from the cultural norms? How can we go back to pursuing our role as the body of Christ? Here are some (but not all) of the steps that Christians can follow:
1. Listen to God
Breaking free from our instant society is key in becoming the body of Christ. Why? The Lord calls us to be patient. Not only is “patience a virtue,” the motto of your archetypal Grandma, but the Lord calls us to spend time with him, patiently meditating on His Word. When Christ came to earth, His biggest emphasis in His own life was spending time with His Father in prayer. In Mark 1:35, Jesus prayed: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” In Matthew 14:23, Jesus prayed: “After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.” These and many more examples show how Jesus spent time with the Father. If Jesus, the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, the Perfect Lamb of God, needed to spend time with God, why wouldn’t we?
2. Be Others-Focused
Jesus came to earth to teach about his Father and to serve. He was not afraid to lower his status to serve those he loved. In John 13, Jesus took it upon himself to wash his disciples’ feet. During this time, washing someone’s feet was regarded as a servant’s job. It was one of the lowest jobs one could have, so when Jesus bent down to wash Peter’s feet, Peter objected. But Jesus reassured him, unless He washed their feet, they would not be apart of him. The end of the passage says,“When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.””
The first step in being others-focused is to stop thinking only about yourself. Notice when other’s need your help. Hold the door for someone. Help someone carry their bags at the store if they’re struggling. Turn off your selfishness and tune into the needs of others.
3. Take Risks for the Kingdom
Jesus did not have a lasting ministry on earth because he conformed to the societal norms. Jesus did not reach millions because he played it safe. No, Jesus ignored the rules of society. He got down and washed his disciples feet. He loved the sick. He loved the poor. Jesus defied the popular way of life, and he paved the way for Christians to adopt his same strategy. Jesus created the culture of love. It’s our job, as Christians, to continue this culture. It’s our job to take risks, to go against the grain, and to love fiercely. It’s our job to be the body of Christ, to stretch out the hands of Christ to serve the poor.
It’s our job to restore the limbs of Christ; his hands and feet, and to use them for the kingdom.
How can millennials serve others and Christ? Here are some small, but practical ways to serve:
1. Volunteer at a local food bank.
2. Volunteer in the Children’s Ministry at a local church.
3. Donate old clothes to Goodwill.
4. Volunteer at a local nursing home.
5. Tutor elementary school students.
6. Volunteer coach with a children’s sports team.
7. Offer to drive a friend who doesn’t have a car to the store.
8. Sponsor a child.
9. Create a box for Operation Christmas Child.
10. Hold the door for people behind you.
Although these are just little ways to serve others, doing these things and more can help show your love and Christ’s love to others. Just the littlest thing can go a long way.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25: 35-36, 40