This weekend, over 80 youth and adults will be at Mount Luther for our synod youth retreat, “GROW in the Snow.” Our theme is “We are the Body,” looking at Holy Communion and how we are all the Body of Christ. As a special devotional reading in preparation for that retreat, today’s First Light is about that theme.
God of the ordinary,
You come to us in everyday things.
You transform them and transform me.
Open my eyes and my spirit to see you.
Help me to notice where you are at work,
bringing love and healing
bringing joy and hope
bringing challenge and new direction
calling me to follow.
Help me to realize that you are alive and active all around me, and within me.
Help me to see that you are using what is common to bring about amazing things.
Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Bread and wine.
God comes to us in a simple meal that was typical in the lives of the people Jesus lived among. Common, everyday food and drink, transformed by the promises of God.
When we gather and re-tell the story of Jesus’ meal with his followers, we follow Jesus’ instruction to “do this in remembrance” of him. As we pray for God to be present in the meal, in our lives, in the world, God comes in ways we can hardly begin to understand, but in ways we feel powerfully sometimes.
God comes to us in a meal. Forgiving our brokenness. Binding us together with each other. Weaving us into the fabric of Jesus’ followers of all time and all places. Nourishing us for lives following him by living love for our neighbor even when it is hard and we don’t want to.
How can a tiny bit of bread and a small swallow of wine do all that?
God uses ordinary things. Ordinary events. Ordinary people.
God transforms what is common into something so special.
When we gather, whether it is for prayer, worship, conversation, silliness, or dinner together, we find that God uses what is there to bless us, heal us, push us, or comfort us. Through a comment, a question, laughter, a smile, an encounter, God moves and works our lives.
Of course, God isn’t limited to using church-related things or contexts. Wherever we go, and whatever we do, if we watch for God, we will find God is there, transforming ordinary things and ordinary experiences into moments of healing and love, challenge and direction, comfort and care.
Where will you notice God today?
If you like, email me where you notice God. I’d love to hear where you see God in your life, and how that encourages or challenges you. I can even post responses on our Facebook page to help tell the story of where God is and what God is doing in this place.
Bread and wine. Where are the ordinary things and experiences that God is using in your life? --Alicia Anderson
Anyone is welcome to contribute! If you'd like to write for us, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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