Can We Eat Together?

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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"The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."

Zephaniah 3:17

Standing not much more than three feet tall, with little braids bouncing around her head, Christina was ridiculously cute. She was small for her age and clearly undone by her family’s sudden life change from a home to a shelter. We knew she was having a hard adjustment because she never spoke. Every time our group of volunteers showed up, Christina would choose one of us, climb into our arms, and stay there. She wouldn’t speak or laugh or cry. She just grabbed on.

But the longer she was there, the more she started to adapt. She still didn’t say much, but we were intoxicated by the rare occasion of hearing her voice or laughter. As much as we loved seeing her, telling her goodbye was never easy. She always demanded a legitimate reason for our departure.

On one such occasion I cited needing to go home so I could eat dinner. As if I needed a cosigner, my stomach growled, right on cue. Christina was not pleased. She walked away without a word, disappearing into a sea of kids. Before I knew it, she was in front of me again, a little jar of Vienna sausages in her hand. She held it out for me to take.

My heart dropped into my stomach. I could not, would not take this child’s little sausages. “That’s so sweet,” I said with a sugary voice, “but I can’t eat your food, honey. I have to go home and eat my food.” She insisted. I refused.

For the second time, she turned on her heels and walked away. For such a little body, she was able to contain a heap of offense. So when she came back with outstretched hand, I made her a deal. “Can we eat together?”

Eating those little sausages with Christina embodied a moment of peace, of gladness, of love. Such a small unassuming package felt like hope dancing between us. Though other children swirled in activity around us, God quieted us with love. I think God was indeed rejoicing over us in that moment. I could hear the song in my heart. It felt a lot like church.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: As we anticipate the celebration of the babe who came to save the world, what unassuming moments are offering you a glimpse of hope? How is your community—friends, family, neighbors, children—participating in the ways you experience Christ this season?

PRAYER: God of love, we are reminded this holiday season that we have this gift in the Body of Christ: we are able to hope together, to quiet ourselves with Love, even in the most unexpected spaces. Help us to pause and hear the song you sing over us. Amen.


Advent Church

It’s not a secret: sometimes it’s hard to find Jesus in church. Some of us have gotten used to the routine and the way things unfold in our weekly church services, and we just can’t seem to move beyond going through the motions. Others of us have been disappointed or we’ve become disenchanted, and we’ve decided to look for Jesus outside the church building. Others have gotten bored with the whole thing, and no longer expect to find Jesus in either the church or the Church. And then, there are those of us who find great comfort and deep meaning in both the church building and the Church of God.

Jesus built the church on Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of Living God. Jesus pronounced that not even the gates of hell would prevail against it. Christ’s grace is at work in the church. And in the Church. In Advent Church, let’s celebrate the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and let the Church say, “Amen.”

Featured image by Cindee Snider Re. Used with Permission. Source via Flickr.