“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”  Ephesians 4:11-13 

I read a timely devotion recently where a coach was asked what role spectator sports played in the physical fitness of our nation.  The coach responded, “none; what you have at a game is 22 football players exercising and needing rest and 55,000 people in the stands eating and resting but needing exercise.” 

Sad to day, but it seems like that explanation accurately describes how it is in the church these days.  I have heard it said that the same ten percent of the people do the work while the remainder of the congregation is content to sit, watch and express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with how the church is moving.  The Apostle Paul says it should not be that way in the church, the body of Christ; there should be no spectators.  All of us are called to be participants in the mission field.  The Holy Spirit has given each of us gifts so we might use them to carry out our ministry as a part of the church. 

The children in the attached photo are not spectators, they have brought fuel for the fire beneath the kettle of beans and rice at their Lutheran school in Communautaire which is in the Central Plateau.  The sticks in their hands is fuel for the fire that cooks the food that will go into their bodies and the Holy Spirit will in turn use these young lives to go out in the neighborhoods and bring the message of our risen Savior Jesus Christ to the lives still clinging to the lies of the vodou priest. 

Using our God given gifts properly is what the stewardship life is all about.  It should not be optional.  All of us are stewards by virtue of our Baptism.  All God’s people, here and in Haiti, have gifts to be used to build up the body of Christ.  God brought us into the church.  Christ suffered and died that we sinners might have forgiveness and fellowship with God.  HE brings the redeemed into His fellowship, the church, but not to be spectators.  God calls us to participate, to use our gifts for His purpose. 

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen.  

May God be with you…Jay