Day 30: Missional ExcellencePosted: May 23, 2013
“Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.”
A commercial for the Arby’s Fast Food Restaurant shows a man running down a street. The city looks like a ghost town. The only sound that can be heard is an eerie blowing of the wind that scatters paper between the high rise buildings. As the man runs wildly down the street, he cries out, “Where is everybody?” A few moments later he frantically screams again, “Where has everybody gone?” Then he sees a stranger dressed in a long black coat and walking slowing down the street with his back turned. In exasperation he runs up to the stranger, grabs him by his shoulders, and says, “Where is everybody?” The stranger slowly turns around while eating a sandwich and says, “To Arby’s – roast beef sandwich sale.”
How often do we find ourselves like the man in the commercial? In times of crises how often have we felt alone, fearful and desperate? It seems as if everyone has gone to Arby’s or to a party, but we have not been invited. Instead we are left all alone with our violent thoughts, alone with our grief, alone with our uncertainties that rob us of our energies. Moreover, in recognizing our loneliness and despair how can we not remember others who are dying without a circle of support, children who are neglected, persons who are poor, hungry and depressed, those who are assaulted and left to die. In the midst of this pang of loneliness it may appear that God has abandoned us.
However, let us not lose heart. Let us not grow weary. Through the quiet and unrelenting presence of God’s Spirit, working through us, Jesus invades our lonely, yearning and bleeding world. Jesus becomes “Word made flesh” in the touch of a hand, in acts of compassion, in a hot and nutritious meal, in clothing the naked, in visiting the imprisoned, even in words of healing and sympathy. Jesus’ presence is made real to us in the ordinary day-to-day occurrences of life in order that we may know what the Gospel writer Matthew knows: God’s grace is with us, and Jesus is “with you always, to the end of the age.”
Prayer: Holy and Gracious God, what a blessed assurance to know that in the midst of our struggles, when the pressures of life mount from day to day, you will be with us, always. Thank you for your promise that you will never leave us all alone and forsaken. May your Spirit renew us with your everlasting grace and love. AMEN.
The Rev. Bettye P. Lewis
Director of Connectional Ministries – TN Conference
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REFLECTIONS FOR THE DAY | Use a program on your computer, a traditional journal, or feel free to use the comment section of this blog post to record your reflections as a conversation with others…
READ – What spoke to me as I read today’s meditation?
REPENT – Where is God showing me that I have failed to be obedient to the call to discipleship today?
RECEIVE – What words of redemption and grace is God offering to me?
REMEMBER – Who and what is God calling me to remember in prayer related to today’s reading?
RESPOND – How is God calling me to respond today?