See Christ among Us
Jane Gardner, presiding evangelist
Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” -Matthew 25:37-40
We hadn’t seen him at the Temple for many months. Usually when he comes through the doors, we are watchful and shadow his movements. He’s been known to cause damage. We understand that he has challenges related to mental illness.
Just recently he showed up again for Prayer for Peace in the Temple Sanctuary. He often moves from seat to seat during the service. Near the end of this service he comes to sit next to me. I smile and nod while trying to model reverent attention to the service. Silently, I wonder, “Why does he come to the Temple? What draws him here?” Of course, in the winter, the warmth of the building is a big attraction for those without shelter or heat. But is there something more? Why does he choose to attend the Prayer for Peace?
In a moment of pure blessing and insight, he becomes the Christ to me. With all of his problems and difficulties, with all of his unbalanced behavior-he is “one of the least of these who are members of my family…” (Matthew 25:40).
As the service draws to a close, he leans toward me and says, “Tomorrow I have to go to court. I’m here to find peace.”
May it be so.
God, help me seek peace for me, peace for us, peace for everyone, and peace for our planet. Amen.
The International Community
Find (or imagine) a globe or map of the world. Look at all the nations and find a country other than your own. Notice the geographic distance between your homeland and this one. Picture a person living there. Pray for this person. Sense God’s love connecting you just as the oceans connect the continents. Thank God for the spiritual connection you have with all of God’s people around the globe. Ask a blessing on the church as a community sharing Christ’s peace, drawing all into the family of God.
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.