Welcome and Share with Others
By Richard James, Council of Twelve Apostles
“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple-truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” -Matthew 10:40-42
We had made plans to travel to the congregation and share in worship. Later we were invited to share in the home of people who were exploring whether Community of Christ would be a good home for them as they continued their faith journey. We started with conversations about our families. Then, as our relationship developed, we talked about our faith journeys and how God had been part of our lives. Empathy and compassion flowed as we engaged in this expressive conversation. The Spirit was present. We shared how God wants us to have a genuine and significant relationship with God and one another. Our hearts warmed to one another, and at times our eyes filled with tears.
Then it was time to eat. What a feast! Simple, yet wonderful ingredients mingled to make a delicious meal. In many ways, it was just like our lives. We, who were once strangers, drawn together from different lands, were now welcomed and joined through conversation and food. The Spirit was present.
Then as we were about to leave we offered prayers for one another: prayers of thankfulness, hope, petition, and blessing. Prayers were offered in acknowledgment of the presence of the Spirit. In the act of hospitality and generosity, we were welcomed as strangers and left as friends and family. We left as brothers and sisters in Christ who had been in the presence of Jesus.
With whom will you share your food today? Who will be present?
“Awake, my soul!” (Psalm 57:8 NRSV)
The Prayer of the Heart
Early Christian disciples desired to take seriously the scripture mandate to pray “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The prayer of the heart invites us to pray “continuously” by repeating and returning to a prayer phrase planted for intentional reflection and deepening. Choose a word or phrase (from scripture, hymnody, or personal reflection) that has meaning for you. The Jesus Prayer is one form of the prayer of the heart: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” (Luke 18:35-43). Invite this simple phrase to repeat in your heart throughout the day, awakening your soul to God’s presence.
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.