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Yours Are the Hands of Christ

Yours Are the Hands of Christ

The Practice of Faith  

by James C. Howell
Discipleship Generosity

Take spirituality into the real world.

Jesus didn't "become flesh" so we could feel different. He came to this world so we will be different.

Often our spirituality seems invisible and mute to a hurting world. Many of us simply internalize faith out of fear, feelings of inadequacy, or choice. A faithful response to discipleship's call, however, is both inward and outward.

Through Howell's study, you'll find ways to apply faith to your daily life and make evident your commitment to Christ. By considering all that Jesus did with his hands as a teacher, a healer, and a compassionate servant, Howell challenges readers to be the hands and feet and love of Christ in the world.

"Christianity must become something real, tangible, something that pervades all that we are," writes Howell. "It must become something we do. In our culture, for Christianity to have any meaningful future, we must get serious about a genuine lifestyle that is holy without being elitist, engaged with the world without being jaded or self-righteous, active and busy yet prepared to cope with failure."

Howell's inspiration for this work comes from a poetic meditation written by Teresa of Avila, a Spanish nun who lived in the 16th century. The poem begins:

"Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours."

Howell connects these words with the apostle Paul, who wrote in 1 Corinthians 12: "Now you are the body of Christ."

Express your faith through action. Be the hands of Christ today to a hurting world.

James C. Howell is senior pastor, Myers Park United Methodist Church, Charlotte, NC. He is the author of 20 books. Howell holds a PhD and DMin from Duke Divinity School and a BA from the University of South Carolina. He enjoys reading, biking, and hiking in his spare time. He and his wife, Lisa, a photographer and community activist, have three grown children.


"In this thoughtful and engaging book, James Howell calls us to a renewed commitment to faithful discipleship. He reminds us that we are the Body of Christ, challenging our tendency to spiritualize Christian faith. There is nothing more urgent than for us to practice our Christian faith. Howell's insightful book offers a significant resource for education, edification, and embodiment."

— L. Gregory Jones
Dean and Professor of Theology
Duke Divinity School

"Poetically employing the image of 'hands,' James Howell takes us into the depth of Jesus' ministry — and our own. These finely crafted meditations blend a passion for the good news with treasures drawn from literature and Howell's rich understanding of the pressures and demanding realities of everyday life. Preachers who read this volume will preach far better sermons; all who read this will live better lives."

— Thomas G. Long
Presbyterian Publishing Corporation

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