READINGOld Testament: Deuteronomy 7:17-26
Psalms: Psalms 30, 32
New Testament: Titus 3:1-15
Gospel: John 1:43-51
Evening Psalms: Psalms 42, 43
“I want you to insist on these points, that those who have
believed in God be careful to devote themselves to good works:
these are excellent and beneficial to others.”
(Titus 3: 8)
Twelve years ago, at the age of 60, my mother-in-law, Judy, gave up a deeply rewarding job, sold her house, and left her family and friends to move to Cambodia, learn the Khmer language, and devote 3 years of her life to a mission program. She devoted herself to working with young mothers living in abject poverty, to help prevent mother-to-baby HIV transmission. Judy was at a stage in her life when most of her friends were rightfully enjoying retirement, the arrival of grandchildren, and a slower pace; and yet she chose to devote herself to good works in a pretty extreme way.
I often think that between work and the demands of raising children and having a busy family life, I just don’t have the time to pitch in and help out with every outreach program or volunteer service opportunity that presents itself. And then I think about Judy or see someone who is busier than me stepping up to help with or run an event, and I realize I have a long way to go to be the kind of servant Jesus asks his followers to be.
There are many reasons I am thankful to have found St. Matthew’s, but chief among them is that I have learned here what it really means to be the hands and feet of Jesus, because I see so many members of my church family doing just that. As a lifelong regular church-goer, I had never before seen so many church members giving so much in service to their church and to the community around them. It inspires me; week in and week out, it challenges me to be a better Christian and to give more of myself. Paul’s words in his letter to Titus challenge me in the same way.
Heavenly Father, this Lent help me to recognize and seize the opportunities to glorify You through good works, large and small. Amen.