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“The body of Christ” continuing Jesus' work

August 25, 2023

Daily Scripture

Matthew 9:35-38, 1 Corinthians 12:24-27

Matthew 9
35 Jesus traveled among all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, announcing the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. 36 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The size of the harvest is bigger than you can imagine, but there are few workers. 38 Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for his harvest.”

1 Corinthians 12
24 God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the part with less honor 25 so that there won’t be division in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it. 27 You are the body of Christ and parts of each other.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Jesus worked tirelessly to restore people to physical, emotional and spiritual wholeness. He must have amazed the disciples by saying, ““The size of the harvest is bigger than you can imagine.” Resurrection’s congregational “DNA” springs from Jesus’ actions and teaching. Like him, we believe the harvest is plentiful—bigger than we can even imagine. God calls us to be Jesus’ “body” in the world—to continue the work that he did using the gifts that his Spirit places in our lives.

  • Jesus yearned for God to “send out workers into his harvest field.” To what extent do you think “troubled and helpless…sheep without a shepherd” expresses the spiritual state of neighbors, co-workers, even some people you know in church? Are you willing to become one of the workers Jesus wished for? What abilities and resources has God given you that you can use to help reach troubled, helpless people with the good news of Jesus?
  • Not many churches have Resurrection’s reach and impact. What’s the secret? It’s no secret. Our senior pastor shared it: “You will never prove intellectually there is a God, any more than others can prove there is no God. If you want to prove God’s existence, show it by your actions…. It is by our works of mercy, compassion, and service—not by Gospel tracts or theological debates—that we will draw people to Christ.” * How has God equipped you for mercy, compassion and service?

Lord Jesus, you didn’t give me gifts to make my resume more impressive or my ego bigger. Shape my life into a living testimony of your goodness and grace that makes the lives of others better. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Leah Swank-Miller

Leah Swank-Miller

Leah Swank-Miller is Director of Student Ministries at Resurrection Overland Park. A Kansas native, she has been a professional actress for nearly two decades, and she loves to see the vastness of God’s creation through theatre and the arts. Leah is pursuing an M.Div. from Saint Paul School of Theology. Leah, Brian, and their two children love to play tennis, golf, soccer, and board games.

When I explain that I left the professional theatre world to pursue ministry and go to seminary, I usually get a look of shock, followed by either, “Well, that’s a shift” or just a flat-out “Why?” My ego usually takes a hit, and then I try to explain that I still love theatre and still do it from time to time, followed by an account of my current ministry setting with youth and all the fun I’m having. The reality is that I heard a calling to pursue this path through seminary, to grow in my theological understanding, and to use my gifts to help students, no matter who they are, know how much God loves them.

But my ministry didn’t start when I started working at the Church of the Resurrection. It was happening a long time ago, in dressing rooms and backstage, rehearsal spaces and audition rooms. Just by being a kind, decent person who showed compassion and lent a listening ear. And I failed at that many times. I didn’t always use my gifts as a living testimony of God’s grace and love. I let ego override my calling to love people like Jesus, to love my neighbor as myself.

I’ve failed more times than I can count. And yet God keeps asking me to share the “good news” of God’s love and keep using gifts God has blessed me with in some crazy way to bless others. I may be finishing seminary and working at a church, but that has no bearing on whether God can use me as part of the “body of Christ.” If you work at a school, office, restaurant, post office, home with children, or any other place you find yourself, God is calling you to love well and be the ‘body of Christ.” That’s the cool part. We all have unique gifts and talents to offer in this world as agents of God’s love. We belong to one another beautifully and profoundly, regardless of where we are. Whether on the stage or behind the scenes, in a seminary or practice field, in your home or a cubicle, YOU MATTER to the whole. Your life and what you have to offer matters, and together, we can use our gifts to be living testimonies of God’s goodness, grace, and love for all.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Hamilton, Adam. Creed: What Christians Believe and Why (p. 119). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.