Labor of Love
“Assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it unto the least of these My brethren, you do it unto Me.” Thus did Christ answer the question asked by his disciples: “When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick or in prison, and come to You?”
Consider Christ's answer again: “Inasmuch as you do it unto the least of these My brethren, you do it unto Me.”
This memorable instruction is just one of many scriptural testimonies regarding the calling we have as Christians to love one another. God commands to “love your neighbor as yourself,” and we are further instructed to “through love serve one another.” These teachings encourage us toward a state of deeper Christian unity, that we may be "knit together in love." Think of the way that the threads in a knitted fabric are intertwined. If we are living up to the fullness of our calling, so are we to be intertwined with each other. Indeed, we are called to a godly and God-like unity: “that they may be one even as You and I are one.”
The unity to which we are called is first and foremost established in the Communion of the Holy Mysteries at the Divine Liturgy, in the other Holy Sacraments, and in the liturgical life of the Church. However, it is abundantly clear that this unity is to be further fleshed out in acts of love and service that permeate the fabric of our daily lives, that help us live as unto God throughout the week.
In the hope of establishing a mechanism to help us all become even more knit together in love, All Saints of North America Orthodox Church is establishing a helps ministry. A good name has been proposed for this ministry—A Labor of Love—but other suggestions are welcome. This is to be a ministry of the people, a ministry that will reflect God’s love for us as we love and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Two things are needed. First, for parishioners to make their needs known. Is there something that needs to be done around the house or yard that is beyond your abilities to accomplish alone? Call Dn. Stephen with the details, and he will try to organize volunteers to provide the help you need.
Second, volunteers will be needed to fill the needs that are made known. It will not always be convenient or easy to donate time and energy to fill these needs; in fact, it may never be convenient or easy. But our calling is not to follow the convenient and easy path, but to take up our cross in order to follow Christ. How do we do this? One way is to say, “Yes, I will” when a request for help is made.
May God bless this ministry, and all those who contribute to it by giving and receiving help.