Get Your Hands Dirty
Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
As part of Origins, we want your faith to drive you to be interested in the people right in front of you, inspired to explore others’ needs and engaged in serving your community – we want you to get your hands dirty. The world is full of weighty needs and the sheer volume of them may make us feel helpless to assist. But we can’t forget that God has extended his hands to bring healing, wholeness and redemption… through us. As a child of God, he has placed you exactly where you are, surrounded you with the people he has intended and has equipped you with everything you need to be his extension to the world.
There’s only one miracle of Jesus that is recorded in all four gospels – the feeding of the five thousand. Each gospel’s author had a particular audience in mind, reason for writing their account and desire to spur on the early church. It shouldn’t be overlooked that each found it important to include an accounting of this particular miracle. While each author emphasized different elements of the event, Matthew, Mark and Luke each recorded Jesus’ response, “you give them something to eat,” when his disciples came to him and asked him to send the crowd away. In John’s account, Jesus asked Phillip how the disciples could feed the crowd and in response Andrew brought up the fact that a boy had five loafs of bread and two fish.
In all four accounts, Jesus both desired that the disciples do something about the situation and he blessed what they had available to miraculously feed the entire crowd. He didn’t allow them to push off a need right in front of them as someone else’s responsibility. He didn’t let them get away with thinking that there were better solutions that didn’t include their effort. He wanted them to get their hands dirty and do something.
When we talk about engaging our community we often have in mind large scale action, but we should never underestimate the reverberating effects of smaller scale efforts. Sometimes a person just needs to know they’re not invisible and that what they’re going through matters to someone else. Sometimes it’s as simple as helping someone when they feel overwhelmed by a situation. But the bottom line is this; God wants you to get your hands dirty and engage in meeting the needs of the people right in front of you.
This week, practice a rhythm of engaging your community – look for ways to get your hands dirty.
Get your hands dirty in personal situations. Do you know someone who is going through a rough season? Is there anything you can do to let them know that they’re not alone? Is there anything you can do to join with them?
Get your hands dirty in community situations. Have you observed an injustice in your community? If so, what’s one thing you can do this week to move toward a solution?
Don’t forget that there are ways to encourage Origins Community as a whole to join with you in meeting the needs of your community.