In some churches today there has developed the terribly annoying custom of someone interrupting worship or a concert and hollering, "Let's give Jesus a hand," causing everyone to erupt into applause. While this type of enthusiasm is certainly a welcome sign of life (especially in some of our churches!), it is also a sign of short-circuited theology.
Jesus doesn't need our hands slapping together in applause. Jesus needs our hands slapping together in work and witness. From Galatians we are urged "do not grow weary in well-doing," (v.9) - a remark that of course assumes you are already involved in some sort of Christ-oriented labor. This week's Gospel text is prefaced by the wistful realization that while the harvest is plentiful, the laborers are few (v.2). Could a mandate for action be any clearer?
America has a long history of voluntary service. Trust in the ongoing strength of voluntary commitments is, in part, what enabled the churches to break free from their existence as...
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