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Advent Devotion "SENT" – Day 7

  • Create by: Hungsu Lim

    [Advent Devotion] Day 7 “Agents of Love”

    “Then those who are righteous will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and give you clothes to wear? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “Then the king will reply to them, ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.’” (Matthew 25:37-40 CEB)

    One summer a youth group began a Bible study journey together in hopes of discerning how God was calling them to be agents of love in their city. They spent the summer practicing lectio divina, or “divine reading,” with Matthew 25:37-40 each week. This practice, they prayed, would grant clarity to them as they “joined Jesus in mission” over the next year. They studied the Scriptures together, engaged in conversations with people in the community, and sought to hear and understand the various needs of the city. After much prayer, listening, and conversation, they decided to be intentional about welcoming and cultivating friendships with a group of children and youth in their church seeking refuge in the city from what is known as the Golden Triangle of Asia.

    The youth group decided that the best place to start was fellowship, cultivating genuine relationships with the children and youth from Asia. Over the next few months, the youth began to organize parties and play opportunities for everyone. These parties led to other days of fun at their homes away from church, where everyone played soccer, created art, and shared stories about life and faith together.

    The intentional times spent together, entering into one another’s stories and discovering needs, led to a quality summer camp experience, which included sports, arts, education tutorials, and Bible study for children who could not otherwise afford it. It also gave birth to summer tutoring programs, which were needed when funding cuts for summer school impacted class availability. In short, friendships were formed and God was able to create something beautiful in the lives of all involved—all because the youth took time to study, pray, pay attention, listen, and commit to join God where God was at work.

    Sometimes joining God’s mission does not look as we thought it would. As the Scriptures reveal to us, we often encounter Christ in the most unlikely places. When the summer Bible study youth group was able to break free of social, economic, and cultural barriers and enter into authentic friendships with their neighbors, they exhibited the reconciling power of the love of God. In such cases, the lines between those serving and those being served become blurry, and we are able to become co-creators with God, bringing restoration, light, and hope to one another.

    PRAYER: God, touch my eyes that I may see you in my neighbor. Open my ears that I may hear the needs and tears of others and then, without fear, respond with the love I have come to know through Jesus Christ. Work in and through me that I may be a bearer of your love and hope to all. Amen.

    (from “SENT: Devotion” Week 2 – Jesus Sets Us Free by Lanecia Rouse)

     

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