Answer the Phone…Speak for the Lord
By Karen Moreland of Independence, MO, USA
Open your hearts and feel the yearnings of your brothers and sisters who are lonely, despised, fearful, neglected, unloved. Reach out in understanding, clasp their hands, and invite all to share in the blessings of community created in the name of the One who suffered on behalf of all. —Doctrine and Covenants 161:3a
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. —Psalm 118:24 NRSV
A few months ago, I was taking calls at the main switchboard at Community of Christ International Headquarters. A man called with deep desperation in his voice. He asked me, “Do you know why I am alive? I woke up today wondering why am I alive? Can you tell me why?”
After a moment of stunned reflection and silent prayer, I answered, “This is the day the Lord has made; rejoice and be glad. The Lord has created a new day, and has recreated you. Rejoice and be glad in the Lord.” The man jubilantly replied, “Oh, thank you! I needed to hear that today,” and hung up.
Advent is a time meant for happy preparation for the coming of the Lord. For some it is often an unhappy time of desperation and depression. If family is far away, people feel lonely—there could have been many reasons for this man’s need to hear joyful words.
As I replaced the phone, my thoughts quickly turned to God with praise for giving me the right words to say. I’m not always equipped to spontaneously bring encouragement to a troubled child of God. Our Lord, in infinite and divine mercy, reaches out with loving arms to draw troubled souls close. I marvel each day that God creates and recreates newness in life all around us. God fills each new day with unconditional love. Praise God! Our Lord is always willing to embrace each child with loving kindness and goodness. I can do no less.
Prayer for Peace
Thank you, God, for the gift of your Son. Help us keep his peace in our hearts as we prepare to celebrate the joy of Christmas. Help us reach out to those that may not know that joy. Help us always be ready to share words of peace.
Spiritual Practice: Advent—Hope
Close your mind to troubling thoughts from the past by placing them in God’s generous hands and letting them go. Let God speak to your fearful heart. Think of your hope for the future—open windows in your mind through which you can see compassionate actions. Reflect on the approaching hope of the Christ child. What is your part in the reason for that hope? Rejoice in the Hope of the world.
Today, God, I will be ready with inspiring words for anyone who may call on me.