Daily Bread Dec. 8

Influential Gatherings
By Jill Smith of Forster, New South Wales, Australia

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. —Colossians 3:14–16 NRSV

I read the Daily Bread reflection for that day: a childhood memory of a remarkable experience at a regional conference. The story and the prayer touched me and caused me to be thankful. I remembered a gathering that was remarkable to me, and it caused me to be thankful once again.

I attended the family camp at Tiona and went to a class led by Dione Jacka who spoke of her experiences working with indigenous people in and around Broome, Western Australia. She has been able to influence many lives.

Her goal for that year was to work mainly with young mothers and their babies, helping them learn better nutrition and adopt wholesome eating habits so their babies would be healthy and strong.

I also learned that twin sisters, Sharon and Michelle, responded to God’s call. They are teachers who realized the children coming through school could not read by second class (grade). They asked if they could tutor kindergarten children to give them a head start in reading and math.

I thank God for these three generous women who understand the principle of early childhood care and education. I know that God is leading them all the way. When these women were young girls, I felt each one would be a shining light in whatever they chose to do on their journey of life as a disciple.

Prayer for Peace

Master Teacher, thank you for the teachers in our lives—in school, in congregations, and in our everyday work places. Thank you for those who teach Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Develop Disciples to Serve

Read and reflect on Psalm 42:1–2. As disciples of Jesus Christ, our call is to respond to people and their needs. The call to journey inward can restore us in times of physical or spiritual depletion. Imagine you can feel a vessel at the center of your being (a clay jar, a crystal vase, a metal bucket, or other container). Imagine drawing something from the vessel to share with another person, but as you reach inside you find only a tiny pool of stagnant liquid. You are thirsty and dry—empty. Listen prayerfully again to the psalm, “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” As you feel restored, thank God for the opportunity to be a responding, serving disciple while you move into the outward journey. Remember this exercise as you drink water throughout the day.

Peace Covenant

Today, God, I will honor those whose shoulders I stand on.

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