Just Like Jesus / 21 Days of Justice Week 1 (Value & Dignity): TUESDAY
With all the noise in the world, do you hear the voice of God? Your calendar tells you what to do, but do you remember who you are? Being comes before doing. This is a call to put first things first. Return to the Lord with this daily pattern of prayer and devotion. Set aside this time as a sanctuary. Find a space free of distraction and follow this pattern.
Invocation: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Word: For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Gal. 3:26-27)
The following paragraphs are taken from an open letter written by the LCMS President of the Kansas district, Rev. Justin Panzer, and addressed to fellow Christians. In the letter, he explains how he and his wife adopted a Black son while they were students at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. While recounting some of the experiences raising their son, he also wonders what kind of reception his son might receive in other churches.
So, would my son be welcomed and embraced at your church? What if he wasn’t the district president’s son? What if he was your next-door neighbor? Would you befriend him? Would you offer him an invitation to church? What if he visited your church unannounced? He’s growing. Right now, he wears a size 13 shoe and has some very large hands. If you didn’t know him, he could be intimidating.
I pray that as Eli goes through life, people will take the time to get to know him, keeping in mind the words of Galatians 3:26-27: “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal 3:26-27)…
Dear friends, now more than ever, the world needs the peace that only Jesus can give. You and I have received that peace of the forgiveness of our sins through our baptism. We have a great heritage in the Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions to “proclaim, teach, and share” with others. Pray for the Spirit to break down hostile barriers. Pray for the Spirit to give you “new eyes” to see your neighbor in love (and willing ears to listen to those neighbors). Pray for the Spirit to give you opportunity to extend an invitation to someone you know to church with you, where they can hear the life-saving message of Christ. (https://kslcms.bmeurl.co/A75EB3B?fbclid=IwAR0by1KS10j4G8CXTpDN1K5z3J4BfxQIytUFcau4jLS9kXZkCOH-jR7JEyY)
Pray the prayer written above - for hostile barriers to fall, for new eyes, and for new ears to listen to people from backgrounds different than your own. Pray that as Lutheran-Christians we would hold valuable and precious all people, regardless of skin color, because they are God’s Creation that He values and loves, even to death on a cross.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, break down hostile barriers among us. Give me “new eyes” to see my neighbor in love. Give me willing ears to listen. Give me opportunity to extend an invitation to someone into the church, where they can hear the life-saving message of Christ. Amen.