- Do you have new neighbours? Are there newcomers to your church? Invite them over for an evening to get better acquainted
- Is this an opportunity to reach out to people in your office or workplace? Consider providing breakfast for those you work with. If you are feeling particularly adventurous you might like to make this a weekly or monthly event.
- Is there a university close by with international students? Invite a small group of students home for lunch or dinner. This is a great way to get know about another culture and the students will be very eager to learn more about your culture and religious traditions.
- Is there a senior care facility near where you live? Take your children over for a visit. Get them to read a story or sing a song for the residents. Consider taking some of the elderly people out for a trip.
- Is there a special way in which your children could reach out to others at their school or play group? Talk to them about the Biblical story and ask them to come up with one way that they could reveal the hope of God the their playmates.
We have watched and waited through Advent, we have celebrated Christmas and the joy of our Saviour’s birth and now we are being asked to follow, to recognize the revelation of Christ in our midst and journey into the new life he offers us.The question that has revolved in my is What does the new life of God look like? Where am I following Christ to? These questions are particularly pertinent as I am also rereading Ann Voskamp's wonderful book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. Ann points out that the first sin of Adam and Eve in the garden was ingratitude, dissatisfaction with all that God had gifted them with. She contends that the key to finding the fullness of life that God intends for us is learning to be grateful for every moment and every circumstance.
I have lived pain, and my life can tell: I only deepen the wounds of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July... and all the good things that God gives.... rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn't rescue the suffering. The converse does. The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world. When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows..... The only real prayers are the ones mouthed with thankful lips. Because gratitude ushers into the other side of prayer, into the heart of the God-love, and all power to change the world, me, resides here in his love. (p58,60)The season of Epiphany is an invitation to follow Jesus into the ways of gratitude and joy,. We are no longer bound by the dissatisfaction of our consumer culture that tells us to keep striving for more stuff, more success, more money, more of everything for myself. Instead we are invited to learn to live in the joy and contentment of seeing every moment as a gift from God. As Paul encourages us:
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again - rejoice... Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace which exceeds anything we can understand. (Phil 4:4, 6-7)And again
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:4,5)So as we move into Epiphany this year let us do so with joy and gratitude, savouring each moment God gives us as precious gift. Let us show others that we really are content with God alone and need nothing more than the love of God to fill us with joy and gratitude.
God may I live within limits, of my body, my mind and my spirit. God may I live within limits, of my calling , my community, my capacity. God may I live within limits, of who I am and who you want me to be. May I learn to live in the place of trust, and wrap my heart around your presence. May I learn to still my mind and listen, attentive to the quiet whispers of your voice. May I attune my ears to your words, And savour the sacredness of each moment. May your ways echo in the depths of my being, so that all I am and all I do, flows from an experience of your love.
As an Amazon Associate, I receive a small amount for purchases made through appropriate links.
Thank you for supporting Godspace in this way.
When referencing or quoting Godspace Light, please be sure to include the Author (Christine Sine unless otherwise noted), the Title of the article or resource, the Source link where appropriate, and ©Godspacelight.com. Thank you!