Advent Devotion 10

The Simple Way

John Arnett

 

They found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger.

Luke 2:16 (NRSV)

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.

Matthew 18:20 (NRSV)

 

Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’  He took the bread and gave it to them and the same with the fish….’Feed my sheep.’ 

John 21:12, 14, 16

 

Perhaps the first church happened in the stable where the shepherds found Mary and Joseph and bowed down to worship the new born baby Jesus.  “Two or three gathered together in His honor” is the essence of the church whether in a stable, a tent, a rented hardware store, or a cathedral.

 

Jesus, who had “no place to lay his head,” moved around through his brief three years of ministry meeting with people in their homes and synagogues teaching his truths and performing acts of kindness and healing.  When Peter suggested they build a shrine on the mountain of transfiguration, God told them instead, “This is my son, Listen to him.”

 

Each morning after sweeping and mopping our office floor, I sit down at my desk with a cup of coffee and a pastry of some sort and imagine that time long ago on the shore of Tiberias when Jesus, after his resurrection, met again with some of his disciples (“two or three together”), fed them breakfast, and gave Peter the command to “feed my sheep.”

 

That command is ours today as well as we continue to gather within or without walls and “feed the sheep” by loving and praying for our neighbor, teaching the stories of the Bible, worshiping with one another, glorifying God with art and technology, and walking in the way of Jesus.

 

 

Lord, help us to follow your simple ways and teach us how to “feed your sheep.” Amen.