Summary: As believers we are expected and empowered to make this world better.
During Word War I the city of Strasbourg (a city in France on the German borders) was bombed; it destroyed that old city and one of the great Cathedrals of that city. Very little remained and the people gathered to save and salvage what they could. As the people began to retrieve what was usable and what would become a part of their keepsakes as memories of the old worship house, they noticed that the old statue that was in front of the church was down, but in many ways still in tack. A group of men found a way to raise that granite stone sculpture of Christ, and they noticed that the hands and the feet were destroyed in the blast. They resolved to rebuild that wonderful old house of faith and their city as well. A well known sculptor heard that the famous statue was damaged and heard that it had been raised, so he came to see if he might be able to restore it. Upon investigation, he said to the church that the statue could be restored quite easily, since the only thing gone were the hands and feet of Christ. He even volunteered to do that work at his own cost as a donation and a lover of the grand old house that had stood as a place of faith and hope to the people. He had them to load it up and carry to his warehouse where he worked, and said when the church was rebuilt he would have that statue ready to be replaced in the front. As the church began to rebuild, someone had an idea that became a great testimony of faith and a global message to all people of faith. Someone said, “Lets not have the statue restored”, let’s have the statue cleaned up, polished up, and the nicks and scratches refinished, but lets leave the hands of Christ off and the statue mounted with the feet of Christ not there. And as a reminder to us and all others who will ever see or hear of this story, let’s engrave on the base: “Christ has no hands but ours, and Christ has no feet but ours”. May this monument be an encourages usto be authentic in our evangelism and cognizant of our role and responsibility as people of faith.
The Hymnist/Poet picks that theme up and wrote: Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today. He has no feet but our feet to lead men in the way. He has no tongue but our tongue to tell men how he died. He has no help but our help to bring them to his side.
This seems to be the theological thread that weaves its way through the writings of Jeremiah and Matthew in the texts today. Jeremiah’s word is a word that is spoken to the people as a promise that God has a plan and a purpose for them. It’s a plan and a purpose that His promises will ultimately be realized by them, but they had a part in those promises. These promises were not spiritual panaceas, in other words, God was not going to do everything for Israel. Dr. King reminded us of that, he said, “Faith in God does not mean that God will do everything for man, that is not faith, that is superstition”. Faith in God trusts the promises and provision of the divine, but faith in God needs to be harnessed with the hands and feet of humans engaged in being and doing their part to walk in the promises. A faith that puts all the effort and energy upon God does the faithful little good in spiritual development and personal responsibility.
That is what we hear in the Gospel of Matthew, out of Christ own lips, as He is raising the standards of expectations and promising the rewards for those who follow those standards:
Matthew 25: 34-45 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.