Daily Bread Dec. 16

Who Will Cross Your Path Today?
By Gary Piper of Fort Gratiot, MI, USA

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” —Luke 4:18–19 NRSV

As Christians, we are to be disciples of Jesus. While being a Christian and a disciple go together, as Christians we are followers of Jesus and as disciples we are doers for Jesus. Jesus’ mission statement comes alive in the fourth chapter of Luke. What does it mean for us?

Today people will cross our paths needing to hear God loves them and cares for them. They may be family members or co-workers. They may be strangers on the street or ones who oppose us. Because the Holy Spirit is alive in us, we will know who they are. And because the Holy Spirit is active in our lives, we will know what to do and what to say. It may be as simple as a smile, an arm around their shoulders, or it may be much more.

During Advent we wait for and celebrate the birth of Christ. Please read today’s scripture passage again. God sent Christ to fulfill a mission of compassion. As disciples, Christ sends us to do the same. When we tell the captives they are free and tell the blind they can see, imagine how it will bless us well. When we unselfishly give of ourselves sharing God’s love and compassion, Jesus’ reality will be our reality—our mission.

May I suggest we start each day by asking God to point out that one person who will cross our path and needs to hear of God’s love and see the “doing” of Christ’s mission.

Prayer for Peace

Compassionate God, you have sent us the perfect example of a mission-oriented life. Help us follow Christ and share a life that reveals his peace.

Spiritual Practice: Abolish Poverty, End Suffering

Read and reflect on John 21:15–17 as a meditation. Direct your mind to places where people have no homes. Think of the wars and natural disasters that destroy the homes of refugees. Be aware of the hungry and homeless who wander the streets or live in shelters. Let the images fill your mind. Offer a prayer for those who suffer. Imagine Christ tending those sheep. Think of ways you might end their suffering as part of your mission. Throughout the day, carry in your mind the voice of Christ saying: “Feed my lambs…tend my sheep…feed my sheep.”

Peace Covenant

Today, God, I will attend to those crossing my path and be aware of their needs.

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