What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. James 2: 14-18 (NRSV)
Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.
1 Peter 4:10 (NRSV)
Bronwyn Ashton Winch is from Queensland, Australia. She was in shock when, in her late twenties, her life came to an abrupt halt because of a significant injury to her lower back. For months she was confined to bed, unable to manage everyday activities like cooking, cleaning, shopping, or going to work. Indeed, she was doing well just to manage her own personal ablutions!
However, during this time God showed her what the body of Christ can do when it puts faith and deeds together in the service of others. Without her requesting it, members of the church she had been attending began arriving with meals, attending to her grocery shopping, gardening, housecleaning, and laundry. They drove her to appointments and came by to talk or pray with her. Month after month - indeed for the next few years - faithful people of all ages attended to her physical, social, and spiritual needs.
So often we rush when people undergo surgery or are recently bereaved but after a few weeks get caught up in our busy lives or think there is nothing further we can do or say to help. While some people may only need help for a short time, others need the body of Christ to surround them for months or even years. Perhaps this is something we can all aspire to do for those who need help in our community.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for those who faithfully attend to the ongoing needs of others. Help us express our faith through acts of service to one another, in Jesus' name. Amen.