Recently I watched as news of knife attacks in the South of France unfolded. It was claimed to be a terrorist attack. In the wake of these events, there was talk about national security, and much discussion about religion and the national culture. There was heightened division in France following these attacks.
Yet I was thinking of peace. What if God could use a person in these times to reach out to those who are divided and to broker a plan for peace. Although there may be suspicion and fear when two try to bridge a gap, bringing peace requires swallowing pride and remaining open to others. I also thought of how the devil is in the details, and it may do more harm than good, but a good peace plan with promises of compromises may be the thing that stops violence. And I thought that if a Christian could broker peace it would be a wonderful witness to our God, and it may be the thing that shows the power of our God to those watching.
But through all my pondering, I was also reminded that there can be a downside—when peace fails for the very human reasons that make peace hard to achieve in the first place. Yet even so, Jesus does not tell his disciples to shine their light for nothing. There is a purpose in it, and that purpose is to share something of God’s goodness with others so that they will even glorify God.
As I think over the passages in the gospel about shining the light and doing good works, I try to consider the words of Jesus. It is becoming clearer to me that Jesus invites his hearers to consider his words and what to do with them. He does not force anything down our throats. So, I am also invited to share my faith in Jesus with others be that in works or words. And it seems to me that scripture tells me again and again that God can use mine and your efforts for some purpose.
For example, when I serve my mother, she truly knows how much she appreciates it. Although I do not know the whole impact, I just want to be there for my mother. I think God probably knows how much she would need it. I just happened to be there.
God knows what to do. We are like instruments that God knows how to play perfectly.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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