Scripture: What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to- face. (I Corinthians 13: 12).
For where two or three come together in My name, I am there with them. (Matthew 18:20)
Now go to the main streets and invite to the feast as many people as you find. (Matthew 22:9)
Meditation: James was admitted to the Christ House medical recovery facility looking very disheveled. His hair was very long, he had a frightened look in his eyes, and his hands shook from many years of alcohol abuse.
We got him a shower, a haircut, a bed, and medicine to pull the poisons from his brain that his damaged liver could no longer neutralize. We also got him help for his drinking problem. Slowly the tremor in his hands improved. Slowly, very slowly, the look of fear in James’ eyes became an off-and-on occurrence instead of constant. James began to trust our care for him. He had finally found some peace, and he began to open up and talk. We had not gotten to know him for who he was until he had had time to know and trust us.
Our Fredericksburg Baptist Church pastor, Larry Haun, shared a similar story with me regarding the new outreach ministry of Community Meals which the church had begun. Larry said that people who used to approach him on the street for food or money are now sitting and talking with him over the shared meal as you and I would. Others have reported the same experience to Larry. People are beginning to know each other as individual persons, instead of “homeless” or “church people.” They are participating in God’s call to be peacemakers.
There’s a Thursday night tradition at Christ House called Table Fellowship when Christ House patients, former patients who live in a nearby companion-ministry house called Kairos (“God’s time” or “God’s timing”), and friends and staff share a meal, singing, a devotional, the Lord’s Supper, and fellowship. Fredericksburg Baptist Church’s Community Meal was very similar – a place where barriers between people are getting torn down and Christ is invited to be the Guest of honor.
Prayer: Thank You, holy and gracious God, for empowering us to become peacemakers by tearing down old walls and building new bridges. Thank You for blessing us with Your awesome presence when we gather in Your name. Keep our eyes fixed on You to give us strength for the long haul. Amen.
For additional information about our Advent devotions and their authors, click here.