Doing the Most Good

Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of men walking. First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again—until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other. —William Booth (1829-1912), founder of the Salvation Army

PRAYER: (from the Lectionary)

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

SCRIPTURES: (from the Lectionary)

Jeremiah 8:18-9:1
Psalm 79:1-9
1 Timothy 2:1-7
Luke 16:1-13

PRAYER FOCUS: The Salvation Army

We have always admired the Salvation Army. As survivors of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, we know first-hand what a magnificent, meticulous job this organization does in the way of disaster relief. The Salvation Army is usually one of the first organizations on the scene in the aftermath of tragedy, often in the face of still-existing peril. They have done so for more than a century, and they’re good at it. They do their work quietly, efficiently, reverently, and with great effect.

In addition to disaster relief, the Salvation Army commands an evangelistic outreach of comfort and hope in urban population centers around the globe. Day after day, these quiet, humble laborers work the fields of the Lord, reaching out to the last, the lost, the unloved and the hopeless. And they do so with great effect.

In this week’s Lectionary prayer, we ask our Father-God to help us not to be anxious about earthly things and to love heavenly things. This recalls Jesus’ own encouragement not to worry, to first seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and that all the things we need will be given to us as well (Matt 6:25-33).

Sometimes we all need a little encouragement–perhaps the example of someone who faces the daily grind of life with eyes not just on this world, but on the world to come. Or perhaps that encouragement might come through an organization of such people, committed not just to seeking first the Kingdom of God, but to lighting the way for others, as well.

Today the Monday Prayer salutes the men and women of the Salvation Army, and all the good they do. We lift them up to the Lord our God, praying for His blessings and grace upon them. We ask that you do the same.

It’s Monday Morning. Thank God for the Salvation Army.

Doing the Most Good: The Manifesto of the Salvation Army

I am doing the most good.
I am hope.
I am compassion.
I am strength.
I am faith.

I am doing the most good.
I serve a community.
A region.
A nation.
A world.
I serve heroes.
I serve victims.
I serve a sovereign God.
I am doing the most good.

I am an Army.
Drafted by the Creator.
Commissioned by a man who defied death.
My enemies are despair and destruction.
My ammunition is grace and mercy.
My allies are generosity and benevolence.

I am an Army.
Helping others be all they can be.

I am doing the most good.
I feed empty stomachs and hungry souls.
I rebuild ruined homes and shattered lives.
I am a willing listener for a veteran with stories to tell.
I am a bottled water and an encouraging smile for a weary firefighter.
I am an answered prayer.
A silver lining.
A second chance.

I am doing the most good.
I am a humble steward of other people’s generosity.
I am a grateful courier of a stranger’s kindness.
I am the faithful executor of others’ goodwill.
I take responsibility seriously.

I am blessed.
I am a blessing.

I am The Salvation Army.
I am doing the most good.

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