Mission Devotional - December 17, 2016

Opening Prayer: Direct me, O Lord, to recognize how your Spirit moves and to become responsive to your prompting. Amen. (Sacred Space 2016)

Scripture: Luke 12:54-56

Journal: Where do you notice signs of the movement of God's Spirit within or around you these days?

Reflection: For the child, newborn, is a natural spy. Only his inherent limitations impede him from consuming all the clues of the universe fitted to his perceiving capacities. Sent here with the mission of finding the meaning buried in matter, of locating the central intelligence, he goes about his business briskly, devouring every detail within his developing grasp. He is devoted to discovery, resists sleep in order to consume more data. Never again will he seek to unearth the treasure buried in the field with such single-mindedness. He has to learn the world from scratch, but the task seems nothing but a joy. Yet gradually, over time, something goes wrong.

The spy slowly begins to forget his mission. He spends so much time and effort learning the language, adopting the habits and customs, internalizing the thought patterns flawlessly, that somehow, gradually, imperceptibly, he becomes his cover. He forgets what he's about. He goes to school, grows up. He gets a job, collects his pay, buys a house, waters the lawn. He settles down and settles in. He wakes up each morning with the shape of his mission, what brought him here in the first place, grown hazier, like a dream that slides quickly away. He frowns and makes an effort to remember. But the phone rings or the baby cries, and he is distracted for the rest of the day. Perhaps he forms a resolution to remember; still he seems helpless to keep the shape, the color of his mission clear in his mind. Then one morning he wakes up and only yawns. It must be there somewhere, buried in the brain cells, but at least superficially the memory is erased. The spy goes native. (And the Tress Clap Their Hands by Virginia Stem Owens)

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

We are providing prayer support for two families living in Creative Access countries who are "Tent Makers." Their work gives them access to the local population. Pray today for wisdom and safety for these two growing families.

Athletes in Action, the sports ministry of Cru, is ministering to college athletes at the University of Tennessee. Rachel and Jason Stankus minister to and through the athletic department at the University of Tennessee and are trusting God to build a spiritual movement that impacts the campus, community and world for Christ. Pray today for Jason and Rachel and also Teg and Mikkel Tegelaar as they reach student athletes this next semester.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to constantly be on the lookout for any and every sign of your coming. For your kingdom is at hand, if we just have eyes to see it. Amen.