Challenged by the Truth

2-3By Rick Maupin, Council of Twelve Apostles

“Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.” And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown.”

—Luke 4:23 – 24

I have rarely experienced feeling like an outsider, not accepted. In some ways, by birth, I have been most often on the “inside,” one who has been accepted.

A few years ago while traveling in Africa, a colleague and I visited one country, and then traveled to another country. Two weeks later, we tried to reenter the first country. On arrival, we learned our visas were not valid for reentry. So immigration officers escorted us to the immigration office. They questioned us for a long time. It was obvious I was not welcome. I was an outsider.

That feeling intensified when the lead immigration officer told me–in a less than friendly manner–they were deporting me from their country. I was not allowed in. I was disappointed and hurt that I would not be allowed to visit an area significant to the life of the church. I felt like an outsider.

Deportation required me immediately to arrange to fly from that country to South Africa. I arrived, dejected and disappointed. I was met by Apostle Bunda Chibwe, who surprised me by saying that later that day we would be traveling to Zambia. I had no visa to enter Zambia.

However, a few hours after applying for a Zambian visa, a representative of the Zambian government handed me a multiyear, multiple–entry visa. He smiled and said, “Welcome to my homeland!” I felt accepted, on the inside.

Let us all see the Communion table this morning in ways that say, “We are all accepted. There are no outsiders.” Let this sacrament and Jesus’ words in Luke encourage us to be about taking down walls that create exclusion.

Prayer for Peace
God of no borders, help us break down forbidding walls. Help us invite and welcome all into the community. May we see the opportunities we have to share the peace of Christ.

Spiritual Practice: Daily Prayer for Peace
The Daily Prayer for Peace is a spiritual practice that takes place year–round at the Temple in Independence, the Kirtland Temple, and many Community of Christ congregations throughout the world. Each day we pray for a different country. Go to the front of this book and identify the country for today. Listen and ask God for images and insights about the people, environment, and needs of this country. Speak or write a prayer of blessing and peace for this part of God’s world.

Peace Covenant
This day, God, I will hold up another country to your healing light.

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