When my grandson was five years old, he had already figured out how to use my phone better than I could! His favorite part of my phone was voice command. He could ask the woman on the phone if it was going to rain, to play his favorite song, or to help his granny find directions to the closest ice cream store. One night, he was learning to write and asked the phone to spell the words, letter by letter while he wrote them. I didn’t even know the phone could do that!
One night I asked my grandson a question. “Griffin, who are you talking to when you ask the phone a question?” He looked at me, and I could see his mind trying to find an answer to my question. His face was confused and puzzled as he tried to figure out who the woman on the voice command was. Finally he said, “I guess she is my . . . my friend?”
He had no idea that his “friend” on the voice command was not a person. He knew that the voice came from the phone, and he knew the voice didn't belong to anyone he knew; but he was confused. My grandson is not the only one confused about reality in a world that is changing faster than we can keep up with. It is increasingly difficult to know what is real, who is telling the truth, and what or who is leading us where we do not want to go. It is time to be discerning and careful or we will find ourselves filled with the “delusions” and enamored with the “false gods” that Psalm 4 warns us about.
God, set me apart as you did David and keep me far from the delusions and false gods that tempt me. Help me, in your wisdom, to discern what is right and best for me and for those I love. In Christ’s name. Amen.
A repeating theme in scripture is our failure to recognize God’s work among us. In Acts, Peter declares that the death of Jesus happened because his fellow Israelites acted in ignorance. The psalmist decries the fact that so many people follow lies, yet God’s blessings for the faithful continue unhindered. John tells his audience to expect that the world will not recognize them as God’s children because the world did not recognize God to begin with. In Luke, Jesus appears to his doubting disciples. He proves the reality of his resurrection by allowing them to touch his body and by eating food in their presence. Only then do they feel certain that they recognize him. In what places in our lives do we not recognize God’s work?
Read Acts 3:12-19. Recall a moment when you felt the presence of Christ in your life in an unexpected way. How does that moment stay with you in the times when you feel overwhelmed?
Read Psalm 4. Do you feel free to cry out to God when you are in distress? If not, what inhibits you?
Read 1 John 3:1-7. How does your identity as a child of God empower you to deeds of love in your daily life?
Read Luke 24:36b-48. What story of the risen Christ do you have to share with others? How will you share your story?
Respond by posting a prayer.
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.”
View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.