Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Take the road of service


If you ask me where is Christ on earth, I point you to his faithful Church, called by his Spirit. As Christ was the world’s hope, so is the Church the world’s hope, and she must take up the charge as if there were not another. Instead of sending some to this town and some to that, she must hear her Master say, “Give ye them to eat.” I do fear, dear friends, that we are many of us getting into a very easy state about perishing men, because we keep out of their way. To stop your ears to the cries of the hungry, or shut your eyes to the wants of the widow and the fatherless, is not the way to relieve famine. Nor is it the way of doing good in the world, to avoid the haunts of the poor, and to leave the dens of desolation and sin.

It is ours to touch the leper with our healing finger, not to shrink from his presence; it is ours to go and find out the stripped, and wounded, and helpless of the sons of men, and then to pour in the oil and the wine. Leave the priest and the Levite, if they will, to pass by on the other side. Your Master asks of you, Christian, practical, personal service, and your Christianity is worth nothing unless it makes you heed his word - “Give ye them to eat” -unless it makes you as individual members, and as an united body do God’s work for the world’s sake and for Jesus Christ’s sake. I will tell you, the people of my charge, that the world’s salvation is given instrumentally into your hands. As far as your power lies, you are to consider yourselves as the world’s hope, and you are to act as such.

From a sermon entitled "Compassion For the Multitude," delivered June 1, 1862. Flickr photo by J. E. Fee; some rights reserved.

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