LIFTING UP a further image of God’s desire for us, Jesus declares that above all else, we are to seek God’s kingdom or reign (Matt. 6:33). Jesus makes it plain that seeking the kingdom is anything but a private escape down some romanticized spiritual pathway. A genuine quest for the reign of God allows no withdrawal from the world’s wounds. To live within this kingdom is to pour forth healing love lavishly, as Jesus did. It is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, and welcome the stranger (Matt. 25:31-46). With this particular portrait of God’s yearning, Jesus does not lay out a fixed map that we must follow step by anxious step. Rather, he paints a broad canvas of human need and invites us to add to that canvas with the brushstrokes of our love. According to our unique opportunities and gifts, we may create scenes as beautiful as a child cradled, a hand held, a hot hatred soothed, or an ancient injustice set aright.
—Marjorie J. Thompson and Stephen V. Doughty
The Way of Discernment Participant’s Book
Companions in Christ Series
From page 28 of The Way of Discernment Participant’s Book, Companions in Christ Series by Marjorie J. Thompson and Stephen V. Doughty. Copyright © 2008 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.
What passages from scripture remind you what the right path looks like? Share your thoughts.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.
—Matthew 25:35-36 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Creator God, Show me the way that is good and acceptable and perfect. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Join the staff of The Upper Room in praying for the victims and their families of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Pray with us.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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