Today, Michael Van Oeveren quoted a poem in his sermon that I had long enjoyed but recently forgotten. They are words that reflect what I believe to be the very soul of what it means to be Christian—not about judgment, not about railing against immorality and the sinfulness of individuals, not even about going to church each Sunday.

They are the words of Teresa of Avila, a Spanish Carmelite nun who lived from 1515 to 1582. They are an acknowledgement of our place in God’s work, God’s mission, God’s vision. They are an understanding that what is God’s, is also our work, our mission, our vision.

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

In other words, if I am to believe that God works in this world, it is through you and me. It is by the works of my hands, my feet, my eyes, my body, that God can fulfill the needs of all those around me. And so are the works of everyone else’s.