Here Be God

1-8By Vera Entwistle of Forster, New South Wales, Australia

So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God.

—Ephesians 2:17–19

There is a map in the British Museum of North America’s east coastal area. The map was drawn by a seafarer in the 1500s. The man who drew the map added some ominous notations:  “Here be fiery scorpions,” “Here be giants,” and “Here be dragons.”

Over two centuries later Sir John Franklin, himself an explorer from England, saw this map and quickly changed these inscriptions. Across the map he wrote, “Here be God.”

If I could have traveled with either of these men, I am sure Sir John would have been my first choice. I wonder what the journey was like for those traveling with the man who drew the first map. Those on the ship might have seen the comments and been afraid of what was ahead.

When we were preparing to go to China to live, many family members and friends questioned why we would choose to take such a risk, traveling to a country perceived by many to be anti-Christian. A few times I found myself questioning our reasoning.

Looking back on the three years we were there, I have precious memories. We made so many friends, saw some sad places, and saw places of sheer beauty. We met no “dragons” or “scorpions,” but we did meet people who cared enough to struggle to communicate with us. With Sir John, we could say, “Here be the people of God. Here be God”

Prayer for Peace
Pilot God, steer us in the direction where we are needed. Give us courage to face the unknown. There may we find people with whom we can share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Making Responsible Choices
Prayerfully seek God’s guidance in your choices. Discernment invites us to orient our lives toward God and God’s vision for us and creation. Begin by reviewing the responsibilities and opportunities in the day before you. Take these choices into prayer, asking God for wisdom and insight about what matters most.

Offer yourself to God with the prayer of Teresa of Avila: “God, what do you want of me today?” Sit prayerfully with this question as you review the day again. Be aware of images, thoughts, names, or actions that come to you. Ask for a blessing to live this day responsibly and compassionately in the spirit of Christ.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will have faith that when your people are here, “Here be you.”

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