My first church was in Moncure, NC, which is a little town between Raleigh and Sanford, NC, with only one sign displaying Moncure on both sides of the sign. My first Sunday there, the attendance was twelve and I brought four with me. Moncure UMC grew but it was a small church. In the church, there was a group of women who quilted. I had a Bible Study with these women every week, and afterwards, they taught me how to quilt. I was never very good, but they worked with me even though sometimes I caught them pulling my stitches out and doing my part over again. I had been there for four years, when one day, they came to me during a worship service and gave me a trip to the Holy Land. They had been selling the quilts and when they had enough, they gave me a trip to the Holy Land. They had been practicing “love” for a long time, and when they had enough, they sent me to Israel for the trip of a life-time. I had just finished my Master of Divinity at Duke, and now I got to see all the places I had been studying about for years.
Paul wrote in Ephesians of their purpose in the world, describing them as “God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.” (Ephesians 2:10) “Handiwork” denotes a work of art or a masterpiece. God’s handiwork made it possible for these women to create a masterpiece with needle and thread. The women at Moncure UMC made “masterpieces” in the form of beautiful quilts.
We can never be saved by our own good works, but when we realize that we are the product of God’s hand, we can bring others toward God’s great “love.” These women in North Carolina made masterpieces, sold them and sent me to the Holy Land. These women loved me because God first loved them. What has God created you to do? I wonder what we can “do” today to show God’s love to those we meet.
Ephesians 2:10 – We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Author: Tommy Herndon