Can painting a home be holy? Clearing ivy an act of sacrifice to God?
John chapters 14-17 record the last words and instruction from Jesus to His beloved disciples. He reminds them who He is, who they are, what He is about to do and what He has called them to do. He strengthens them for upcoming adversity and encourages them with His great love. His final thoughts include the admonition to love one another, because that’s how the world will judge Him. He ends with this:
“I pray not only for these, but also for those who will trust in me because of their word, that they may all be one. Just as you, Father, are united with me and I with you, I pray that they may be united with us, so that the world may believe that you sent me. The glory which you have given to me, I have given to them; so that they may be one, just as we are one —I united with them and you with me, so that they may be completely one, and the world thus realize that you sent me, and that you have loved them just as you have loved me.
In other words – the way you treat one another, if you are united as a community and love each other, is how the world will decide if Jesus is the real deal.
I’ve had the opportunity to share the story of a milestone birthday celebration. It’s a great story and I love to tell it. You see, an army of friends showed up over the course of a weekend and gave my house a much needed “facelift”. They came from all directions. Some stayed an hour or two, some worked all weekend. I was grateful for every one as they each hold a special place in my life. And they all used their various gifts – planning and administration, painting and construction, someone fixed the sprinklers, some pulled ivy, some ran to the store for added supplies and some cooked, one installed a light, an eager little helper drew a picture of my castle to decorate the fridge and other youngsters passed out food and water. We connected.
This outpouring was a blessing to me on many levels. And I see Jesus smiling as well because my neighbors and coworkers get a glimpse of Him (yes - I even shared the story with the hardware man). Their selfless sacrifice of time and talent is love in action. We enjoyed fellowship, fun, a common task and a chance to "do life" in community. This is the body of Christ at work. Literally.