Don’t Forget the Humble Housekeeper

Tuesday, August 19

8-19By Merna Short of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. …If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

—1 Corinthians 12:12–14, 26–27 NRSV

Those who work in the fabric industry know it is important to keep floors clean of scraps and lint. These are a potential fire hazard. Just a spark would allow a fire to take hold, destroying everything in its path. Imagine the loss in an inferno of fabric, chemicals, and machinery.

In industry, managers, supervisors, and workers are all necessary, yet we often undervalue the humble housekeeper. When cost cutting, the accountant is apt to look at the volume of goods made by the factory and overlook the need for continual cleaning. The cry from those who produce the goods is, “Don’t fire the ones who clean!”

Jesus can’t do without his leaders and workers in the church, either. Many people give noticeable, public ministry and are a blessing. There are also those who work diligently and quietly in the background. How grateful we are that they are always serving. They are an unheralded blessing for Christ’s mission.

Seeing these faithful servants reminds me of how much we need them. I again become aware that as the body of Christ we cannot say of any part, “I have no need of you.” We are all are called to serve the children of God.

Prayer for Peace Universal God, help us look beyond the seemingly “unimportant” positions and see the humble servants. Help us see and know of how much worth they are to all. We would suffer without them. Help us bridge the gap of imagined worthiness by sharing Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Honoring God’s Call to Others Reflect on God’s call in your life. Quietly reflect on the moments when you have experienced God’s presence and invitation to expand your gifts. Write in your journal or quietly reflect on images and insights that come. When have you experienced God through the calling and gifts of others? How do your gifts connect with the call of God you notice in your family, friends, congregation, or community?

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will recognize and value the call of each person.

Leave a comment


  1. Vera Entwistle

     /  19 August 2014

    Good morning Merna from beautiful Oregon, USA, Yesterday when I arrived at church early, I found the doors of the church wide open and a wonderful Deacon, Troy, busy with the vacuum cleaner. I remember thinking that if I had not arrived early I would not have known of Troy’s work. It made me stop and think of things like a clean sanctuary that I take for granted. Your story today reminded me again. Greetings to you and yours,

  2. Dick Hahn

     /  19 August 2014

    Thank you Sister Merna for this important reminder that all are called, and all are needed. All over the world, people are clamoring for democracy, and are frustrated at ever turn by the powerful who fear the common people. We are blessed in the church to be a theocratic democracy, through which leaders and members share in governing the church. God works through all of us, as a trustworthy community, to achieve God’s purposes. How wonderful!


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