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.
[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.
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.
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?