Daily office Readings for Wednesday, of the First Week of Advent 2020: Year 1
“Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more, to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, so that you may behave properly towards outsiders and be dependent on no one.” (1st Thessalonians 4: 9 to 12)
Finally, after Paul is done with ranting about what he perceives as sexual misconduct, he gets to what I believe God really wants us to understand; and that is, that we should contribute to the community in which we live with the work of our hands.
Church is the living example of the benefit of our working with our hands. The church needs people who are both able and willing to, setup the Altar, play music, cut the grass, fix the broken furniture or structural repairs to the building, prepare food and by all means, make coffee. Yes, we need workers who perform ministries of working with their hands. During this pandemic we are asking our ushers to also wipe down the pews with antiseptic cleansers.
From the church, there is always the need for people who must leave home and perform duties that can’t be done at home. Builders, drivers, store clerks and so forth, must go out into the community and work with their hands in order to hold our community, and outsiders together. Paul was a tent maker. He is recorded as plying his trade with a fellow tent maker in order to not be a burden to his host. (Acts 18: 1 to 3)
Many of us consider ourselves fortunate to be able to work from home. This type of work normally consists of computer skills that primarily get business done around informational types of work. Computer work cannot get the ditch dug, or drive supplies to the needed area, or build a house, or prepare a much needed vaccine. No, we must go out and behave properly towards our community and outsiders and work with our hands as God has directed us through the words of Paul. What is developed in the heart (good or bad), is made manifest through the works of the hands rather than the words that spill from the mouth. This is heart to hands folks, and as Larry the Cable Guy would say, Let’s getter done!
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John