Art Smith, Council of Twelve Apostles
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” -John 1:43-46
We braved Highway 3 heading north out of Hinche, Haiti, wanting to get to Gonaives eventually (although we’d only make it to Cap Haitien on that long day). We drove up and down and in and out of gullies on a highway made of gullies. Slowing down we waited briefly to drive through a river next to a construction site where a bridge was supposedly being built. The wait was a welcome respite.
I was exhausted and feeling lost in a strange land. Haiti will do that to a newcomer. My mind swirled as warnings from governments and travel services mixed with fearful questions from friends and family that began with the addition of Haiti to my church assignment. The fear and foreignness could have turned to doubts like those Nathaniel expressed in John 1: “Could anything good could ever come out of a place like that?”
But Jesus calls us to come and see. Come and see the worth of all persons. Come and see God’s Spirit at work everywhere. Come and face down our own fears and prejudice. Come and discover the wonderful ways the whole world is united in diversity.
Walking along beside us, coming up out of the river, was a woman with a large Bulk Barn bag balanced on her head. Bulk Barn is a bulk food store in Canada and something we really miss from Canada as we now live in the USA. I’ve never seen one in Missouri or one carried like that in Guelph or Gatineau.
We visited many congregations that day and shared in the lovely Holy Spirit. But the balancing Bulk Barn bag reminded me yet again how small and interconnected this world is.
“Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day…” (Psalm 139:12).
Repeat this month’s prayer phrase slowly and intentionally within your heart. Invite this prayerful repetition to open a space of presence to the divine light within you. Where are you experiencing the light of God in your life and in the world?
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.