We Are the Church 

Read: “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ…. [There] should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices in it.” 1 Corinthians 12:1225-26 (NIV)

Reflect: As I stood in the grocery check-out line I watched the cashier handling a very complicated transaction with a difficult, demanding customer who was not filled with mercy that day. Stressed and overwhelmed, she was trying to hold back tears while struggling to check out her long line of impatient customers as best she could. As I witnessed this maelstrom, I quietly prayed to God to give her peace and comfort.

When my turn came, I flashed her a smile and gave her soothing, encouraging words. My teenager and I then bagged our groceries and helped her bag the next customer in line so she could have a moment to regroup. This caused a chain reaction! The next few customers extended her grace and encouraged her as well. The tension in the line softened. The cashier clearly felt supported and encouraged by this kindness. She regained her composure, and it was obvious that she had been genuinely uplifted by the gracious actions of her customers. God’s grace and love were revealed through this group of strangers just at the moment when she needed it. It brought me such happiness to be part of it.

God has a beautiful way of bringing imperfect people together in dispensing his amazing grace. We are all called to minister love and care for one another, anywhere at any time. We are the church.

React: This week, be intentional about loving and serving others well as you are presented with opportunities to spread God’s unfailing grace and loving kindness to all.

Pray: Jesus, you are the vine and we are your branches. Open our hearts to listen and respond to the Holy Spirit so that we may reveal your love to others who so desperately need you.