December 14, 2020
By Bert Green
Do we offer ourselves as God’s hands in the world hoping that God will find us worthy, or do we offer ourselves with the joyful realization and thanksgiving that God so loved the world that God sent us God’s beloved Son to show us how to love one another? Our community of faith here at St. John’s Baptist has a history of offering ourselves as “God’s hands in the World.” We support our youth and adults, who over the years have served our brothers and sisters from Canada to Puerto Rico. We have served the homeless through Room in the Inn, coordinated locally by Roof Above (formerly Urban Ministry Center). We also serve the homeless or those facing homelessness through our local partnerships with Crisis Assistance Ministries, Charlotte Rescue Mission, Hope Chapel, Salvation Army, and Center for Community Transition. In addition, we serve those who seek permanent housing through Charlotte Family Housing and Habitat for Humanity. We continue to serve our Raising South Sudan Ministry through Mothering Across Continents. We will serve local, state, national and international efforts to be Christ’s hands, feet, and voices throughout the world. When we offer ourselves, we invite God into our hearts, we make ourselves vulnerable to being served by those we serve, and we make ourselves open to the presence of the Holy Spirit, and its transforming power. Or maybe we have been blessed to experience the presence of God through the Holy Spirit, and the intensity of that experience has empowered us, and made us realize that all that we have and all that we are belongs to God. The ministries inside and outside our community of faith have spent decades honing their skills. We have volunteers who have supported these same ministries and have shared their gifts and talents generously in the process. We have youth and adults who have and will experience the good news of Jesus Christ as we offer ourselves to the world. I hope we all do the following in the coming Advent Season: Pray and give thanks to God for this wonderful community of faith at St. John’s, and the many other blessings in our lives. Pray and give thanks to God for the leadership we enjoy here. Pray and search our hearts for how we can continue to offer ourselves to the world, and support our brothers and sisters around us by sharing our gifts and talents abundantly. Pray and search our hearts for how we can contribute toward the financial needs of St. John’s to support the outstanding work that goes on here every week of the year. St John’s is a rock in my life. This community of faith has shown me how to love and be loved. It has taught me and admonished me as occasion may require. I can never begin to repay you all and those saints we have lost for sharing God’s presence and being God’s hands in this world. Thank you very much.