Today's Scripture Reading
Sacrifices Pleasing to God
13:1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
The photo on this page was taken 'tomorrow' by my Facebook friend and sister in serving Christ, Lorraine Jacobs. She took it from their home in New Zealand, where it is late winter, and near noon on Tuesday, August 16. For me it is 8 PM Monday, August 15. Her today is my tomorrow….and my today is her yesterday. Wow!
From Lorraine I learned that when people in Australia and New Zealand are referred to as being from “down under,” it doesn't always feel so great.
In extending our nets, our vision of others makes a difference. It is easy to treat a northern hemisphere perspective as the norm and those in the southern hemisphere as opposites, as upside down. When viewed from space, Earth us just there, with no top or bottom. But from where each of us sits, it seems that we are always upright, at least in our own mind.
From Lorraine, I also learned that the people there near her in the Christchurch area are still suffering from the effects of the earthquakes last September and the continuing aftershocks, some terribly traumatized, and still in great need of prayer and support. This snow, while beautiful, wasn’t so welcome in those homes that are still damaged and leaky to the elements.
One of the most amazing gifts of being part of DisciplesNet is the ability to connect with--and learn from--people whose views come from all over the world in geography as well as in thought.
At DisciplesNet, we are still learning to think of time now as God’s time, because we often Skype with people in time zones quite a ways apart. One chat could include someone awake during their early morning, my early evening, and another’s midnight. We’ve learned, although sometimes we slip up, to not say, “Have a good day!” to someone during our morning but their bedtime, or “Good night!” to someone who has just finished their morning prayers. This takes a little thought and effort, but knowing about the different time zones helps us to know that they are seeing in a different perspective that is neither good nor bad, just different. And each perspective is every bit as real as our own.
Talking with someone on Skype or chatting live on facebook allows us to see that the world doesn’t look to everyone else just as it looks through the small knot-hole we are allowed to view through, or the opposite place we think of as "not-like-me." It sure is helpful to have others share their views...and the more views we take in, the more it just feels like God's world.
Perhaps this can help in seeing aspects of people and issues beyond their labels. They can be just different, gloriously complex in all that they are. Seeing people from around the world--different skin tones and life concerns--is just like that. All these things help me to know more and more that this is not “my world” but God’s world, and each person in it is a dear child of God, precious in God's sight.
Prayer: All-loving God, help us to see the world through your eyes and to act accordingly. Help us resist the urge to see things only from our own perspective, or only in false human-made polarities.
Help us to see things fully by seeing the many perspectives of all your children, and as we come close enough together to do so, catch yet another glimpse of Jesus the Christ there in our midst.
We ask this all in Jesus' name,
Today's devotion was shared by
Pastor Deb Phelps
Deb Phelps is Senior Minister of DisciplesNet Church, and an ordained minister with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).