God’s messengers

he Annunciation Henry Ossawa Tanner, American (active France), 1859 - 1937 The Annunciation, 1898 oil on canvas Philadelphia Museum of Art

Henry Ossawa Tanner, American (active France), 1859 – 1937
The Annunciation, 1898
oil on canvas
Philadelphia Museum of Art

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. Luke 1:26-27

God sends specific messengers to specific locations to specific people every day.

I met several of God’s messengers at the Salvation Army Friday. Some were tiny children crying for their mothers. Some were cranky or bossy or argumentative adults. I did my best to keep saying “yes” to bearing God’s Love into the swirl of human emotions. It took all my energy.

Some messengers were kind and efficient, unfailingly gracious and cheerful. They are a living example of saying “yes” to being Love Bearers in our world where all of us just want to love and be loved.

Respond to the voices

A voice cries out in the wilderness

“A voice cries out in the wilderness”
Israeli wall around the West Bank

[John] said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord,'” as Isaiah the prophet said.” John 1:23

Jesus does not exist apart from human struggles, human injustice, human atrocities. The voices I hear calling from war-torn countries show me where to find Jesus: right in the middle of it all.

How will I respond to the voices calling to me today? How will I make straight the way of the Lord in the midst of human suffering?

 

 

Wake up call

2_candlesJohn the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Mark 1:4

The gospel is our every day wake up call: a call to love, to help the poor, to show compassion to all people.

It’s a call to spend time in quiet prayer and meditation, to read holy scripture, to deepen our relationship with Jesus.

The gospel wakes us up to the reality of God’s presence in our world, in our lives, in our being.

Today I will trust the wake up call of the gospel and ask the Lord to bless me with knowledge of his will for me and the power to carry it out.

 

Watching

Candle_flame[Jesus said,] “What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!'” Mark 13:37

What am I watching for?
For an opportunity to be kind.
For an opportunity to help someone.
For an opportunity to encourage someone.
For an opportunity to feed the hungry.
For an opportunity to choose peace.
For an opportunity to speak out against violence.
For an opportunity to let go of arrogance.
For an opportunity to show respect to others.
For an opportunity to rejoice in another’s success.
For an opportunity to welcome a stranger.
For an opportunity share my gifts and talents.
For an opportunity to love my neighbor as myself.

Love or convenience?

Jan Luyken (1649-1712) Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England By Phillip Mehurst (Photo by Harry Kossuth) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

Jan Luyken (1649-1712)
Welcome the Stranger
Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England
By Phillip Mehurst (Photo by Harry Kossuth) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

[Jesus said,] “‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'”

It’s not always convenient to be mindful of others, especially those who need my attention, help, energy, money, talents.

Convenience is not the calling of a follower of Jesus. Love is.

 

Growing rich

JESUS MAFA. Parable of the Three Servants, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48297 [retrieved November 16, 2014].

JESUS MAFA. Parable of the Three Servants, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48297 [retrieved November 16, 2014].

“…out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.” Matthew 25:25

Today I will not bury myself in busy-ness out of fear of loneliness.

I will not surround myself with the noise of the world out of fear of the silence of God.

I will not let fear, indifference, or fatigue prevent me from growing rich in kindness, compassion, and encouragement, peace, and love.

 

 

Cleaning house

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) Jesús expulsa a los fariseos del Templo, 1521

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553)
Jesús expulsa a los fariseos del Templo, 1521

[Jesus] made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area. John 2:15

I am a little temple that houses God’s Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus and through the gift of the Holy Spirit, I have the power to drive out anything from my temple that obstructs and interferes with my ability to love God, myself, and my neighbor.

What shall I drive out today? Fear? Greed? Self-pity? Arrogance? Indifference? Prejudice?

What shall I invite in? Gratitude? Gentleness? Acceptance? Encouragement? Hospitality? Compassion?