Daily Bread April 20

Near to the Heart of God
Mavis McDonald of Petrolia, Ontario, Canada

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. -Matthew 5:14-16

The young parents brought their baby that Sunday morning for the sacrament of blessing of children. The grandmother had been invited as well, to watch the older child should he be a disruption during the service.

As the parents walked to the front with their infant, the older brother, who was about 3 years of age, pushed past Grandma’s knees into the aisle. The grandmother quickly reached out to get hold of him, but he turned to give her a reassuring look that seemed to say, “It’s okay, Grandma. I’m just going to stand here in the aisle where I can see what’s happening.”

And there he stood quietly, the little older brother, as though listening and understanding the words spoken in blessing. As the parents returned to their seats, the little boy who had been taught, “We just whisper in church,” spoke aloud for all to hear, “That was nice, Mommy.”

With his limited vocabulary, “nice” was the only word he knew to express what his little heart felt as he witnessed God’s blessing upon his baby brother. His words were like a child’s benediction that touched the hearts of all who heard. Many years later I still remember that day.

Little children are near to the heart of God. We must never underestimate what they are capable of understanding and feeling as they worship with us.

Prayer Phrase

“Every breath is a resurrection” (Gregory Orr).

Spiritual Practice

Breath of Life

Take a few moments right now to breathe. Simply observe each inhale and exhale. Pay attention to how it feels in your body. Notice the rise and fall of your chest. Notice how you breathe even when you aren’t thinking about it, how your body instinctively knows how to keep you alive without your thought or effort. In this moment, you are alive. Receive this awareness as an expression of divine grace. In joy or despair, loss or celebration, your body continues breathing. How is your breath a resurrection this day?

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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