Daily Bread July 31

Ordinary Times When I Encountered Jesus
Zac Harmon-McLaughlin of Sacramento, CA, USA

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. -Colossians 3:14

I am amazed how often I find myself standing next to, holding hands with, and/or embracing Jesus.

The first time this happened I was 13 years old. I was standing next to a campfire as the Spirit of God filled me to the point of overflowing. Shaken with conviction in the movement of God in my life, Jesus held my hand and gave me a comforting hug. Jesus was my father.

It happened a few weeks ago. I was marching for justice and peace. I was moved to tears when Jesus grabbed my hand and walked with me through an uncomfortable situation. Jesus was a 5-year-old boy.

I sat next to Jesus once at the dinner table. I was in awe as he shared his story. He preached the good news. He told stories of how God is at work all over the world. He shared how this good news was not only for other people in other countries, but that this good news only happened because of the connectedness of a worldwide church. Jesus was a man who grew up in Fiji.

I stood next to Jesus at church once. We were breaking bread and sharing the cup. We blessed it and something incredible happened. We were fully present. There were only eight of us at church. But Jesus invited us to see what was possible. Jesus invited us into belonging. Jesus was an ordained woman.

I suppose my point is this: When I settle my heart and step back from all of the things competing for my attention, I rarely fail to see the living Christ in my midst. Jesus is all around-through all and in all. Next time you find yourself in an ordinary situation, look around. Who knows who Jesus will be for you.

Prayer Phrase

“Your mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23, adapted).

Spiritual Practice

Ordinary Time is a season for noticing the details of life that make up its substance. This month, we invite you to pay attention with each fresh morning to the gift of being alive. Before getting out of bed, take a few deep breaths and notice what it feels like to wake up in your own body. Engage the tasks of your unfolding day with reverence-brushing your teeth, making the bed, pouring the coffee, tending the kids, feeding the animals, making breakfast, etc. Notice the presence of the Holy in every ordinary thing. Embrace your daily routines with sacramental significance. Notice how long you can do this before your attention is taken away, and commit to returning to this simple awareness as gently and often as you can.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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