I am encouraged when people share their everyday experiences of God. I think of these as glory sightings—the simple and powerful ways people have seen or experienced God at work in their ordinary days.

Our church serves as an emergency shelter for people in our community who are homeless. One of our regular guests, Abby*, is a smart and articulate woman. She once held a stable job with a salary that could support her. But things happened in Abby’s life, and ultimately she found herself living in her car and parking in the Walmart parking lot each night. Occasionally she found short-term work that gave her enough money for food.

When the emergency shelter was open, Abby always came; but she was not open to our attempts to find transitional housing for her. Then the day came when Abby’s car wouldn’t start. It was winter but not cold enough for the shelter to be open. She didn’t know what to do, so she asked a police officer to call the church. With the help of the community, we were able to get her car repaired and to talk through with Abby what it might be like if she moved into transitional housing. She was ready. This scenario changed the priorities of our church staff that week. Abby’s car breaking down opened her to new possibilities. God led all of us through this path of compassion and care.

We often begin our church staff meetings with the devotional practice of asking each person to respond to the question,“Where have you seen God?” Many of our stories are of those who show up as guests at the emergency shelter. These friends show us the face of Jesus again and again. From despair to hope, God is always turning our suffering into blessing.

*Name changed to protect the guest’s privacy

Start a meeting or conversation with this devotional questioning: “Where have you seen God this week?”

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-50

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Leccionario Semanal
September 20–26, 2021
Resumen de la Escritura

The Jewish people have faced possible destruction numerous times. The story begins not with the Holocaust in Europe but far back in history during the time of Esther. The wicked Haman plots to wipe out God’s people, but God saves the people through Esther’s courage. The psalmist praises God for this kind of salvation from seemingly impossible circumstances. Although we may not face genocide, we have our own struggles. James encourages us to pray with faith, believing that God can and will answer. Our prayers are powerful, James assures us. Jesus teaches us the importance of letting nothing stand between God and us. Using vivid hyperbole, he admonishes us to put the pursuit of God above everything else and to support others in that same pursuit.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22. When have you chosen to speak out in a way that made you vulnerable in order to help someone else?
Read Psalm 124. Recall a time when you had a strong sense of God’s being on your side. What was the situation? How did that assurance come?
Read James 5:13-20. How do the members of your faith community pray with and for one another?
Read Mark 9:38-50. Whoever is not against you is for you. How can you share God’s love with those outside your inner circle?

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