Preparing for Worship – Jeff Hampton.
Today in worship we hear a very strong theme of helping others and being the hands and feet of Christ on earth. It is a foundational message of our faith. But I wonder, too, if it doesn’t beg the question: Have we been good stewards of our own needs?
Speaking for myself, I like to think that I haven’t required much help from others in my life. (My parents would disagree, of course!) Spiritual and emotional support through friendship and fellowship? Definitely. But actual physical help of the type we normally associate with “missions” work? Not so much. But if I’m honest about it, it hasn’t been so much that I haven’t needed physical help as that I’ve denied that I need help. Like so many lifelong churchgoers, I’ve been quick to join a prayer chain and drop off a casserole, but I’ve been stoic and silent about my own needs.
Not being honest about our needs can be detrimental to our health, our family life, our personal finances. It also can be detrimental in more subtle ways that can eat at our faith and our ministry. There’s always a chance that we can work out our problems on our own, but if we bluster or luck our way through something, we may start to think, “Well, if I can do it, so can someone else.” And that can lead to, “Why should I help them? I didn’t go running for help; I pulled myself up, and they can do the same.”
If we get caught up in our supposed self-sufficiency, it becomes easy to cast others in the same light and let them fend for themselves. It just may be that by acknowledging our own vulnerability and need, we are better prepared to reach out and help others in need.
Today as you listen to the words of the scriptures, hymns, anthem and message, try to see yourself on both sides of the stories. Consider your calling as not just one who provides help, but also as one who needs help. And then recall the one who can fulfill all needs.