Hands of the Steward

1-12By Carolyn Brock of Independence, Missouri, USA

God is calling for a prophetic community to emerge, drawn from the nations of the world, that is characterized by uncommon devotion to the compassion and peace of God revealed in Jesus Christ. Through divine grace and wisdom, this faith community has been given abundant gifts, resources, and opportunities to equip it to become such a people…

—Doctrine and Covenants 163:11a

They don’t pass an offering plate at church in Africa. You get up and dance your way to the basket, clutching your nira, or shillings, or kwacha tightly. Then you bow graciously as you let the money drop from your folded hands into the container. On some days and in some places in Africa, you bring your cassava, fruits, or vegetables to share with those in need.

Think of all the hands sharing their substance on any given Sunday morning in our global family. Bones and tissue covered with skin of every shade from deep browns and mahogany to pinks and tans, amber and cappuccino blends. They are wrinkled, soft, calloused, scarred, arthritic, worn from hoeing, harvesting, hauling, and simply holding on.

How do daily life, the realities of our work, our bodies, our wealth, or poverty connect with what we share within Community of Christ? Some of us give abundantly, painlessly, with generous amounts left over.

For others their offering is that of the widow’s two copper coins, and they clap and sing all the way around the church. How then shall we be stewards in a world of diminishing resources and increasing interdependence? What will restore spiritual depth and energy to the act of sharing, whether it be our money, the skills and energies of our bodies, or our hearts and souls?

Prayer for Peace
May we use our hands, God, for your purposes. Whether they are young and smooth or old and wrinkled, we would employ them in Christ’s mission to share his peace.

Spiritual Practice: Hand Ministry
Place your hand on a piece of paper and trace around it to create an outline. Add details of fingernails, wrinkles, or skin color if desired. Look at your hand and meditate on what you do with your hands each day. Ask God to direct your thoughts to a person in need of blessing, kindness, or healing touch. Pray for wisdom about the specific act needed by this person and discern how and when you will use your hands to complete this ministry.

Peace Covenant
My mission of compassion today, God, is to abolish poverty and end suffering.

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