Daily Bread Dec. 9

Am I Prepared?
By Janet Mortimore of Clio, IA, USA

The Lord is exalted, he dwells on high; he filled Zion with justice and righteousness; he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. —Isaiah 33:5–6 NRSV

As I was visiting an elderly friend one day, she made the comment, “Wouldn’t it be nice if Jesus came to lunch today!” Then she saw her pastor drive up to her house, and she quickly tidied up the living room.

Since then I have pondered the incident and questions come to mind. If I should unexpectedly meet Jesus on the street, would I have to tidy up my life? And then I remembered the meeting on the road to Emmaus. Even though I may not recognize him, Jesus accepts me just as I am.

I know I am not perfect in modeling my discipleship on Jesus, and I should continually tidy up my life so I am ready to meet him whenever or wherever that may be.

Then I wonder if I have unknowingly met Jesus on the street already. Did I meet his expectations? Did I respond to the least of my brothers and sisters, as I would respond to Jesus? Did I respond to a new baby as if he were the Christ child for whom I prepared?

It is perhaps easier to send aid to far-off hurricane victims and the poor across the world than to face the stranger up close and personal. But up close and personal is what Jesus is all about. I pray that my response to the stranger is the same as my response would be to Jesus. Would Jesus see in me a person of peace? Would he know by my life I loved him well?

Prayer for Peace

Mysterious God, we might meet Jesus on the street and not know him. Help us prepare to meet the Christ by seeing him in everyone, by responding to all as we would to Christ. Help us share the peace of Christ with everyone we meet.

Spiritual Practice: Advent—Peace

Pause amid this busy season and open yourself to be mindful of the source of your life-giving breath. Reflect on where that breath blows you. Pray it leads you to Pursue Peace on Earth. In this short time of reflection, close your eyes, close out the noise of the holiday crowds, and prepare yourself for the coming of the Messiah. If your mind wanders to the commercial clamor, allow God to pull you back to focus on Christ, the center of Christmas. Expose your soul to God’s signature and the writing of the covenant of Christ’s peace on your heart.

Peace Covenant

Today, God, I will prepare my house as a place of peace, where Jesus would feel at home.

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