Daily Bread Feb. 8

Go and Buy Bananas!
By Brittany Longsdorf of Lewiston, ME, USA

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Oh, where can I flee from your presence?” —Psalm 139:7 NRSV

In the state of Kerala, India, there is a unique and strong Christian tradition called the Mar Thoma Church. The Mar Thoma Church believes the Apostle Thomas was sent to India after the death and resurrection of Christ to preach the good news of the gospel to the people there. The leader of the denomination is called the Mar Thoma Metropolitan.

While studying in southern India, a group of fellow seminarians and I were invited to have an audience with the Mar Thoma Metropolitan. He was a gentle-spirited, constantly smiling man. After shaking hands with each of us with gusto, he sat and allowed us to ask a few questions. I gingerly raised my hand and asked the Metropolitan what he thought the relationship was between God and the church.

He grinned at me and said, “People always ask me that. They ask me if the priests in the church are still holy. They ask me if God is still in the Church. I tell them ‘God is in the market place, so go and buy bananas.’”

Where can I go from your Spirit?

Of course, the Metropolitan didn’t mean God was only in the marketplace; rather he was calling us to see the total abundance and immanence of God. The Sacred is in our daily interactions, our mundane tasks, and especially in the diverse hands of the people we meet.

The marketplace in India is a bustling mixture of people from all walks of life: poor and rich, educated and uneducated, from every different religious and ethnic background you can imagine, all bustling through a matrix of bright fabrics, succulent hanging fruit, and piles of colorful spices. The market is a place we all visit. It is simple, ordinary, and, according to this wise guru, full of the Sacred.

Prayer Phrase

God is with us.

Invitation to Spiritual Practice

Holy Attention

Ordinary time is a season for awakening to God’s presence in all the details and circumstances of our everyday, ordinary lives. Wherever you are, pay attention to your surroundings. Allow yourself to be fully present for a time with whatever is before you. Where do you sense God with you right now exactly where you are?

How does today’s story invite you to discover God in the realities of your everyday life?

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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