I wear a silver necklace made by a Hopi artist. It’s a simple design of a stalk of corn that reminds me of meaningful weeks spent working on the Hopi reservation with Sierra Service Project. The Hopi have lived for centuries in northern Arizona on and around three majestic mesas that rise out of the desert. For centuries, Hopi farmers have farmed the arid lands. They grow sixteen kinds of corn, in addition to beans, melons, sunflowers, and squash. Some people might consider the Hopi landscape stark; their traditional foods and menu, plain. But to the Hopi, corn is life. Blue corn piki bread, white corn stew, baked sweet corn are appreciated delicacies.
I wear the corn necklace to remind me to look for plenitude in life. As we read in Psalm 4:6-8:
There are many who say, “O that we might see some good!
Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!”
You have put gladness in my heart
more than when their grain and wine abound.
There will be always be others whose “grain and wine abound,” but when God’s love surrounds us, we experience gladness of heart. Peace. Joy. No need to compare ourselves to others who seem to have more money, things, opportunities. My necklace prompts me to give thanks for what I have instead of dwelling on what I don’t have.
List at least ten things for which you are thankful. You may want to make a gratitude list part of your daily routine. And if, like me, you occasionally find yourself feeling “less,” remember the many ways God has blessed and continues to bless you.
Who am I? A person with plenty.
God, I want to experience the joy that comes in relationship with you. May I remember that you give me more than enough. Amen.
A repeating theme in scripture is our failure to recognize God’s work among us. In Acts, Peter declares that the death of Jesus happened because his fellow Israelites acted in ignorance. The psalmist decries the fact that so many people follow lies, yet God’s blessings for the faithful continue unhindered. John tells his audience to expect that the world will not recognize them as God’s children because the world did not recognize God to begin with. In Luke, Jesus appears to his doubting disciples. He proves the reality of his resurrection by allowing them to touch his body and by eating food in their presence. Only then do they feel certain that they recognize him. In what places in our lives do we not recognize God’s work?
• Read Acts 3:12-19. When have you initially bristled at someone’s remarks only to discover some truth about yourself as you reflected on your strong reaction? What did you learn about yourself?
• Read Psalm 4. How do you daily reinforce the idea that you are “more” rather than “less”?
• Read 1 John 3:1-7. When have you been an “upstander” for love on behalf of another? In what ways did that empower you to take more initiative to love?
• Read Luke 24:36b-48. To what do you look as a revelation of Christ’s presence?
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