Hymn #648 in Celebrating Grace Hymnal — “Stir Your Church, O God, Our Father”
[pullquote_center width=”90%”]Give to us a social conscience which enables us to see
That all folk are Your creation and that they have dignity.
Let us feel, with real compassion, needs of body, mind, and soul;
For these needs may we provide them ministry which makes them whole.[/pullquote_center]
Whole. This word can be a legal term, used to indicate awarding damages to a plaintiff in order to restore their former state. In the Bible, the term used for wholeness is ‘perfection’. I thank God for those who labor to render modern translations of scripture; “Be perfect, as your God is perfect” is rendered in more modern language, “Be whole, as your God is whole.” Journeying toward wholeness includes growth in body, mind, and soul. Heading toward wholeness is an attainable goal for me; perfection, not so much.
This modern hymn text by Milburn Price is a challenge to all of us called by Christ’s name to seek wholeness not only for ourselves, but for our global neighbors. How do our ministries feed the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters? How can we seek wholeness for this fragmented world? How do we answer that daunting call?
We do it one safe well at a time, one box of school supplies or medical kit at a time. We do it one relationship at a time, one story shared among global family. We do it united, bonded by the common purpose of wholeness for all of God’s children.