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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, June 30, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Matthew 10:40–42       

“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” (NRSV)

These verses conclude a long discourse in Matthew 10 that warns Christ’s disciples of the costliness of their witness and exhorts them to be courageous nonetheless. The instructions to the disciples begin and end with the affirmation that Christ’s presence and authority are carried on through the presence and work of his followers. They will go about healing just as Jesus did. They will proclaim the same truths and receive the same responses as Jesus did. This is true not only for the original twelve apostles, but for us who are members of Christ’s contemporary church.

As St. Teresa of Avila wrote, “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through 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 on earth but yours.”

A Presbyterian initiative called “Hands and Feet” is inviting mission teams to the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy leading up to the 223rd General Assembly (2018) meeting in St. Louis. The Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, J. Herbert Nelson said, “If we, through new and existing mission and ministry programs, immerse ourselves in St. Louis over the next eighteen months, our General Assembly gathering will be a natural extension of our charge to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in action, and not simply a meeting.” Hands and Feet will be replicated in Baltimore in 2020 and in Columbus, Ohio, in 2022 for those General Assembly gatherings.

Embolden me, God, to be your instrument, showing your love and doing your work. Amen.

Written by Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission

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