The Least of These

Good morning. It is Monday again. June 3, 2013. We had a decent weekend, and got a good amount of rest. Also, the Red Sox took 2-3 from the Evil Empire, which made it even better! 😀

I’m hoping for a more normal week, this week, as we have a “reset” this morning, and no Monday holiday to get things all “wonky.” Christi is officially going back to work today. Pray for her strength. I think she might be pretty tired after half the day. But who knows? She’s tough, you know.

Today is Repeat Day.

Today is Repeat Day.

(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)

Franz Kafka died on this date in 1924, in a sanatorium, just outside Vienna, in Kierling. Kafka was an author who wrote this famous opening line: “Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning.” Even though he is considered one of the 20th centuries greatest authors, most of his “enigmatic works were published posthumously.” Born in Prague, he received a doctorate in law from the University of Prague. At the age of 34, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He is said to have been a “charming and amusing companion.” Apparently, he had left instructions for his executor, Max Brod, to burn all of his works after he died. Fortunately, “for readers everywhere, Brod disregarded his orders and prepared many of them for publication.”

Today’s birthday is Marion Zimmer Bradley, born on this date in 1930. Ms. Bradley was an author of the fantasy genre, one of her most notable works being the series that began with The Mists of Avalon. Although born in Albany, NY, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Hardin-Simmons University, in Abilene, Texas. The Avalon series retells the Arthurian legend from the perspective of the female characters.

Honorable mentions go to Jefferson Davis, 1808, Jimmy Rogers, 1924, Tony Curtis, 1925, Boots Randolph, 1927, Larry McMurtry, 1936, Ian Hunter, 1939, Suzi Quatro, 1950, and James Purefoy, 1964.


Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! Psalm 95:1-2
It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night. Psalm 92:1-2
Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. Psalm 119:36-37

Father, I pray that my eyes would be turned from looking at worthless things today. Let me see your steadfast love this morning as I look into your words.

Today’s reading in A Year With God is called “Guided by God’s Strength.” The scripture reading is Exodus 15:13.

“You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.”

There are various ways that we can receive guidance from God–dreams, visions, circumstances, and conversations–but in this verse God guides Israel by his strength. What does that mean, to be guided by God’s strength? Does it carry a sense of protection, of provision, of overcoming adversity? When I consider these questions, in light of this verse, I get a visual of God’s hands being on either side of me, directing my path, keeping me from stepping off of the path I am supposed to be on. His “strength,” or his ability to keep me faithful, is what is guiding me. He is stronger than me, so he can direct my path and, thereby, guide me in the best way.

The book offers a prayer by John Knox:

“Let your mighty hand, O Lord our Lord,
and outstretched arm, be our defense;
your mercy and loving-kindness
in Jesus Christ, your dear Son, be our salvation;
your all-true-word be our instruction;
the grace of your life-giving Spirit
be our comfort and consolation;
to the end and in the end. Amen.”

Getting back to the 19 Mercies today, number 16 is “Christ in the person next to you.” In the winter of 1947, when a Dominican monk took a family in who was freezing to death on the streets of Paris, he went to the chapel, took the “blessed sacrament” and put it upstairs in a “cold, unheated attic,” and let the family come into the chapel to sleep. When his brothers expressed shock at this, he replied, “Jesus Christ is not cold in the Eucharist, but He is cold in the body of a little child.” Whether or not Jesus’s body and blood are truly present in the Eucharist is a matter of interpretation/opinion. However, Jesus plainly stated that whenever we help someone who is in need, we do so to him. Mother Teresa once wrote, “In the Eucharist I see Christ in the appearance of the bread. In the slums, I see Christ in the distressing disguise of the poor. The Eucharist and the poor are but one love for me.”

“Right now, the Lord is in the person next you, in front of you, behind you. When you go home tonight and open the door of your home, the Lord will be present in each person there. Sometimes He’s buried there. Sometimes He’s bound hand and foot there, but He’s there.” Our duty is to love Him there. We have been given the Holy Spirit that we might love. “. . . the meaning of our religion is love.”

Lord Jesus, Savior Servant . . . help me to dream again.
Rekindle in my heart that fire of the disciple who sees
his calling everywhere, hears Your invitation everywhere,
reaches out to Your children in great need . . . everywhere.
I really do want to live Your life in mine–to serve, to care,
to give, to sing Your song–for your glory and pleasure.

My Father, as I live this day, may I be guided by your strength. May I understand that the circumstances that come my way are not designed to defeat me (unless they are, being allowed by you, coming from my enemy), but to strengthen me. May I see, with your eyes, by the power of your Holy Spirit, the presence of Christ in everyone around me today; in that driver who is rude to me; in phone call that gets me aggravated; in work associates who don’t cooperate or try to bully me. May I see your presence in all of them, and discern that, even though I may not know precisely what it is, there is a need there that only you can meet. May this be a part of my fulfilling of that command that I “pray without ceasing.”

Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth. Teach me to love as you have loved.

I pray for this day today. May Christi experience further healing on her foot. I pray for her strength today as she goes back to work for the first day since her surgery. Keep her strong through this day, and surround her with your strength to guide her and protect her. I pray also for your strength to guide Stephanie through this day. May you also guide me through this work day by your strength, and may this week be much less stressful than last week.

Your grace is sufficient.

Let his strength guide you today, and look for the presence of Christ in everyone around you. And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Grace and peace friends.