Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
During Advent I will share with you the Thursday meditations from one of my favorite Advent books by Beth A. Richardson, titled Child of the Light. I hope you enjoy them.
Children of Action
I want to see the brightness of God,
I want to look at Jesus.
Our desire to be children of the light leads us to action - both individually and as a community. We walk as children of the light. We follow Jesus. We live the Jesus Story.
We not only have a God-hunger inside us, but we also have a desire to see God's brightness, God's goodness all around us. We can see God every day, even today. We can see Jesus all around us in the people we meet, the children we serve, our coworkers, and family members. How many times a day do we see Jesus? How many times a day do we see the brightness of God? And how many times do we miss seeing Jesus because we are too busy or too preoccupied, too worried or angry or tired? We become wrapped up in our own lives, and we are blinded by filters of assumption and prejudice.
A couple of years ago I was sitting at Starbucks having a meeting with a coworker. I was talking (I'm sure) about some incredible idea of mine when I noticed a tall, scruffy looking older man shuffling toward me. His hair was a mess, and he walked with a cane. As he passed near me, I instinctively reached down to secure my purse. A few seconds later, my coworker leaned over to me and said, "Did you see that? Johnny Cash just went into the men's room."
Oh, my gosh! I thought Johnny Cash was a homeless person. If I can't recognize Johnny Cash, how am I going to notice Jesus in the people around me? I have to pay attention, to free myself from the fears, assumptions, and prejudices almost woven into my very cells. I have to challenge myself to let go of the baggage I carry around, to move beyond my comfort zone, to put myself in proximity with people who are different from me so that I have opportunity to grow out of those old assumptions and prejudices.
I want to see the brightness of God in the people I meet -that's the only way to see Jesus. I want to see God in not only the homeless, the children, the poor, the other, the stranger, but also in the coworker with whom I am annoyed, the church member who drives me nuts, the family member at whom I'm angry.
When in the past few days have you seen Jesus? What are the filters-the prejudices and assumptions-that keep you from seeing the brightness of God?
PRAYERGod of Brightness, forgive me for the times when I am blinded from seeing you in those around me. Open the eyes of my heart that I might see you today in unexpected places. Amen.
Blessings this Advent!
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