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Monday, December 12, 2016

Gathered: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Acts 2: 46-47

“Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”

Kindness—generosity—praise—joy—in their gathering together brought the attraction of others. Created a curiosity that sought a reason or a story or a longing. Gave the new community the opportunity to share their gifts of grace and new foundations of their lives.

Life a warm fire on a cold night they lit a light of welcome.

Do we?

How often do our own emotions or barricades build silent walls? Maybe we don’t even realize it—do our best—then wonder why a visitor did not return or a family left.

A family dispute in the car—an unsettling situation at work that week—an anxious wait for a test result---can automatically turn us inward—unable, or unwilling, to share our grief as much as our joy.

Yet at the gathering here in Jerusalem the people were still under Roman rule with backbreaking consequences. Many were now exiled from their own families due to their decision to follow Jesus. His close family and friends still missed His presence. The onlookers knew much of these sorrows. So the people watching them wondered, how could they gather in praise?

How can we still gather in praise and joy in the midst of deep conflict and grief?  Extend open welcome and generosity.

Christ centered—together—sharing openly our heartaches and blessings—extending kindness by God’s grace.  Offered to each generation. Offered to each who seeks.  Recognizing another longing heart.

Opportunity to listen with care.

Psalm of Worship: Psalm 27:5

“For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will set me high on a rock.”

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