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Mission Devotional - December 15, 2015

Opening Prayer: O God, at times life can get so hard and overwhelming that it's all we can do to try to find hope in our own hearts from day to day. But you, O God, want so much more for (and from) us. You not only want us to find our hope in you, but you want us to offer hope to those in our lives and in our world. Give us the strength and the courage to do just that during this Advent season - as well as every season. Amen.

Scripture: Romans 8:18-28

Journal: How does God want you to find your hope in him during this season? How does he want you to offer hope to others?

Reflection: The more I think about the meaning of living and acting in the name of Jesus, the more I realize that what I have to offer others is not my intelligence, skill, power, influence, or connections, but my own human brokenness through which the love of God can manifest itself. The celebrant in Leonard Bernstein's Mass says: "Glass shines brighter when it's broken…I never noticed that." This, to me, is what ministry and mission are all about. Ministry is entering with our human brokenness into communion with others and speaking a word of hope. This hope is not based on any power to solve the problems of those with whom we live, but on the love of God, which becomes visible when we let go of our fears of being out of control and enter into His presence in shared confession of weakness.

The great paradox of ministry, therefore, is that we minister above all with our weakness, a weakness that invites us to receive from those to whom we go. The more in touch we are with our own need for healing and salvation, the more open we are to receive in gratitude what others have to offer us. (Gracias! by Henri J.M. Nouwen)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

John and Kathy Lesondak are church planters who work across denominational lines in Slovakia to encourage and enable pastors in their work. John founded the Kosice Fine Arts Center in 2013. Pray today for John and Kathy as they are in the midst of the flood of refugees arriving from Syria and are working with others to show the love of God to them in the turmoil and uncertainty. They have been sharing reports with us and you can learn more by watching this video.

Re-Entry is a partnership organization whose mission is to inspire, equip, and connect international students and scholars to become ethical and impactful leaders in their communities of origin or employment. Pray today for Tom Henry, the president of this organization.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me a vision bigger than myself today. Amen.