Christ’s World Cup
By Cathy Loving of Independence, MO, USA
For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. —Romans 14:17–18 NRSV
I enjoy watching World Cup football (soccer, for some). It amazes me to see the skills of the athletes. They move the ball with their feet with such finesse and flair. It appears effortless and fluid. How do they make it look so easy?
A good athlete in any sport devotes hours and hours of practice and dedication. They repeat skills or movements until those actions become natural responses—like breathing.
I wonder if I practiced my faith of sharing Christ’s love and peace with that same devotion, would my deeds become like breathing. Would my actions be effortless and fluid? Would charity be a way of life, not just a seasonal focus?
I think I had better keep practicing.
Prayer for Peace
Holy Spirit, help us discipline our spiritual lives to be natural to us. Let peace be an intuitive and familiar action as we share.
Spiritual Practice: Develop Disciples to Serve
Read and reflect on Psalm 42:1–2. As disciples of Jesus Christ, our call is to respond to people and their needs. The call to journey inward can restore us in times of physical or spiritual depletion. Imagine you can feel a vessel at the center of your being (a clay jar, a crystal vase, a metal bucket, or other container). Imagine drawing something from the vessel to share with another person, but as you reach inside you find only a tiny pool of stagnant liquid. You are thirsty and dry—empty. Listen prayerfully again to the psalm, “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” As you feel restored, thank God for the opportunity to be a responding, serving disciple while you move into the outward journey. Remember this exercise as you drink water throughout the day.
Today, God, I will practice peace until it is part of my identity.