2011 Advent Devotion- Saturday, December 17

Saturday, December 17                                    
Matthew 25:31-46

If you went looking for God, where would you look? In the beauty of nature? In quiet moments of prayer and reflection? In the words of Scripture?

Our Reformed tradition tells us that we don’t find God, but rather that God finds us. The Bible witnesses to the fact that God can find us through the beauty of nature, through spiritual disciplines of Sabbath-keeping or Bible study, or by a host of other means. Indeed, part of the paradox of the Christian journey is that the more actively we look, the more likely we are to be found. Advent is the season of our looking and God’s finding.

Today’s story from Matthew reflects the odd Christian claim that God finds us most powerfully and reliably through the face of the suffering other—the hungry, the sick, the outcast, etc. In ministering to them, God ministers to us. God uses the suffering of others to invite us into intimate communion with them, and through them, with God. That communion can take many forms—tender care provided to a spouse of declining health, the inclusion of those ostracized by society, solidarity with the oppressed in their struggle for justice. Wherever we participate in that communion, we participate in the resurrected body of Christ.

God of the lost, give us searching eyes and wandering feet to look for your presence among those who suffer. Find us through our communion with them. Open our hearts to receive your
compassion, and our hands to share it. Amen.

Rev. Craig Hunter, pastor, Trinity Presbyterian Church, and member,
Peace Discernment Steering Committee PC(USA), Denton, Texas

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