Daily Devotion for March 23, 2021

Become a Blessing

I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing . . . (Genesis 12:2)
            The call of Abraham is clear, he is called so that God can bless the world through him.  He is called and blessed, not so he can keep those blessings as a private possession, but so that God will work through him to touch the world. As followers of Jesus Christ today, you and I inherit the call of Abraham.  We are blessed for a reason as well.  It is so we can take up the torch and allow God to live through us and touch the world.
            The challenge for us is that we are taught by the culture around us to live for ourselves.  If we are not careful, this self-centered focus can shape who we are and how we live.  It can happen in such subtle ways as we think primarily of ourselves.  You can see how this affects people in our society, especially our children. 
            When my oldest daughter, Amanda, was in Middle School, we lived in Eau Claire at the time.  One of the really neat mission projects our church did is that we helped feed homeless families through the ministry of Interfaith Hospitality Network.  It was a network/partnership between churches and business in the community, to house and feed people who are homeless.
            The goal was to provide a safe place, with food and if needed to help the families make connections about work and training that would help raise them out of homelessness.  It was a program designed to give people a springboard to make their life better.  It was a program that allowed the participants to have integrity while they participated.
            As a church, we took one week, once a quarter, to serve evening meals and breakfasts.  I loved to help out by heading up one of the breakfasts. 
            One morning, I informed Amanda that she was going to help me make and serve breakfast.  She was not happy about having to do that.  She didn’t know what serving people who were homeless was all about, but her fears kind of got the best of her.  I could tell that she was nervous just because of the things she was saying.  “What will it be like?  Will they smell?  Will they look funny?  Why do I have to do this?  Can’t you just do it without me?  I don’t want to go.”
            We went and served.  When it was all done I asked her, “How was it?”
            She looked at me and said, “I had a good time.” 
            She seemed somewhat hesitant and I asked about that.  Then she said, “Dad, that boy that I was talking with and eating with.  He is in my class at school.  He is just like me.  Only, he doesn’t have a home right now.”
            In that moment, Amanda realized that people in need are a lot like us.  They look like us.  They have hopes and dreams like we do.  It is just that for many, difficulties happen through no fault of their own and they can find themselves in the midst of tough, challenging circumstances.
            You and I are blessed with so much.  How can we use these blessings to help others?  In a world where we are taught to take care of ourselves, and put ourselves first, Abraham’s call is a reminder to place the call of God first.  It is a call for us to use the gifts/blessings we have received to reach out and allow God to bless the world through us.
            Loving One, Thank you for all you have done to touch us and bless us.  Teach us to not only be grateful for your blessings but teach us to allow your blessings to move through us to make a difference for those in need around us.  Help us to live for you and your justice in our world. In the hope Jesus offers us, Amen.