Daily Bread Jan. 31

Stand for Truth
By David Nii of Centennial, CO, USA

Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” —Luke 4:21–22 NRSV

The four of us sat in a space about six feet wide and 10 feet long. This was Malingapuram’s home. She had just given her three visitors something to drink and eat. My soul moved in awe as we began to share in prayer.

Just before to our visit in Malingapuram’s home, we shared music and stories with about 40 children in a partly enclosed shelter with a concrete slab floor and a corrugated metal roof. Each day she helps children with their homework here and provides supervision for a few hours. She told us several children weren’t with us that day. When all are present, they fill the space.

Malingapuram is a disciple of Jesus Christ and sees this ministry as her calling. She never married and does not have family in the village. The village children and her adult helpers are her family. Her income comes from whatever people in the village share with her. Most of the children who share in her ministry are from Hindu families. She is among a handful of Christians in the village because the leaders of Kalavathy in Tamil Nadu, India, forbid Christian missionary efforts.

God’s blessing often emerges and multiplies in unlikely conditions. Malingapuram is an outsider because of her religious faith, her lack of family connections, and her low economic status. She doesn’t take the easy path as she stands for truth of her ministry. Blessing flows powerfully in and through her life. She invites people to God’s good news. She eases poverty and suffering through her ministry. She is one of the many people of the world who embody the peace of Christ.

From my developed nation’s privileged-status mindset, I sometimes ignore my inherent connection and need for solidarity with someone like Malingapuram. I sometimes forget she is my sister and colleague, capable of extending blessing and in need of blessing, like I am. Christ’s mission is alive wherever disciples respond in service.

As we prayed that evening, I was awed, knowing that Christ’s mission was being fulfilled. Our host may not have had world peace on her mind, but she shared justice and peace from her heart.

Prayer for Peace

Fulfill in us, O God, Christ’s mission. We see it done in the lives of others like Malingapuram—may it be so with us also.

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 search for ways to fulfill Christ’s mission—our mission.

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