We serve a living and awesome God, powerful but merciful, made approachable, who cares about our every need, but still deserves of all awe and respect. The readings today bring all of these different images together. It seems a worthwhile aim for today to ponder these different realities. We might, like Mary, ponder these things in our heart – or like the “other” Mary in scriptures, sit at the feet of Jesus in wonder. The verses in Hebrews may prompt us to seek a renewed joy in celebrating the presence of Jesus among us.
Last week a woman in our church shared a story that she saw as an illustration of what it means to serve a living God. She told of a friend (Gwen) who had been praying for a woman who was a recent immigrant. One day she felt a prompting to take some diapers and wipes over to the woman’s apartment. When Gwen arrived, the woman was taken aback with gratitude and amazement. The woman had just used up all of her diapers. She had no money to buy more diapers and was nearing despair. Gwen was able to talk with her about the prompting that lead her to bring the diapers as the work of a living God who works through believers.
I am so grateful for times when my own immediate needs have been met by someone else who may have felt a prompting to provide a dinner invitation, a thank-you gift certificate, or a needed word of encouragement. I have also been blessed to be prompted to provide for others. In the gospel for today Jesus sends out his disciples with restrictions that clearly require them to rely on the prompting of others. We might ask if we are being called to step out in faith in some way today – to rely on God’s mercy and provision. We may also ask for a renewed awareness of God’s promptings to us to show the love, mercy, and justice of a living God to those around us.
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