Are We Moving toward Jesus, the Peaceful One?
Gene Allen Groner of Independence, MO, USA
Lovingly invite others to experience the good news of new life in community with Christ. Opportunities abound in your daily lives if you choose to see them. Undertake compassionate and just actions to abolish poverty and end needless suffering. Pursue peace on and for the Earth. -Doctrine and Covenants 165:1c-d
This question causes me to reflect on my daughter’s words, “We are either moving forward or moving backward. Direction is what’s important.”
Am I moving forward or backward? Am I moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One? When I think of moving toward Jesus, I think of following him and keeping his commandments. Christ calls us every day to love one another as he loves us. That is the way I want to live, but I must admit that I don’t always measure up to his standards.
When I encounter a homeless person, I feel a sense of love and compassion, but I don’t always stop and see what their needs are. I wish I did. When a friend or loved one comes to mind, as they often do, I feel friendship and love for them as I think of them fondly. But I must confess that I don’t always call them to see how they are doing and what they are feeling. I should do that more often.
There are so many things we can do to move toward Jesus, the peaceful One. Here are a few things that come to mind as I ponder this question:
- Pray every day for people who are homeless and hungry, and for those affected by COVID-19.
- Devote time every morning to reading the Bible and meditating on the word of God.
- Call someone different every day and ask how they are doing, especially those who may be lonely and afraid. Jesus always told his friends, “Do not be afraid. I am with you.”
- At least once a day do something kind for someone else, and don’t tell anyone what you have done.
- Each day ask God what you can do to help build the kingdom of Christ here on Earth. It is surprising the things that God plants in your mind at just the right time. Jesus said, “I always do the will of my Father in heaven.”
- Offer a homeless person a bottle of water, a blanket, gloves, a new pair of socks, or a bag of food you just purchased from a drive-thru restaurant.
- Serve as a volunteer for a not-for-profit organization like Habitat for Humanity or Harvesters.
- Donate food to a homeless shelter or food pantry on a regular basis or whenever you are able.
These kinds of things help move us closer to Christ, and they are surely pleasing to God. It is an honor and privilege to be able to reflect on the things that keep us “moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One.” As we consider this critical question about our discipleship, may the Spirit of Christ be with us and in our efforts to better serve him. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One?
Gospel Contemplation (Mark 1:9-11)
Each week during Lent, you are invited to pray with a different gospel story from the life of Christ. Use your senses and imagination to enter the text. Allow it to come to life in you, observing details, noticing interactions, even engaging in dialogue. Notice where you find yourself in the story and how you feel about what is happening. Notice what it evokes in you or invites of you. Take time to journal or enter silent prayer to reflect on your experience and to sense where the Spirit may be leading you through this scriptural encounter.
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.