Do Not Be Afraid

Sunday, March 2

3-2By Jim Poirier, Presiding Bishopric

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.

—Matthew 17:1–2

Folks in remote communities in western Canada look forward to hosting traveling ministers on their journeys between communities. A colleague and I arrived at the home of a pastor in time for dinner. Members of the small congregation began arriving. We greeted old friends and shared stories.

After dinner and companionship, we retreated to our host homes. I traveled with Merlin, a young man in his 90s, to his home. Merlin and his wife, now deceased, shared their giftedness with the congregation for many years. The church was their life.

Merlin was now alone. So, he was happy to be my host. Though it was late when we arrived, Merlin and I shared a cup of tea and spoke of his relationship with God. He shared such a wonderful testimony. We laughed and cried. We each said a short prayer. There was peace.

In the morning we rose early and shared breakfast. Following breakfast we remained at the table. Merlin brought out the Daily Bread and opened it to the story of the day. To my surprise, he passed the book to me and asked me to read the story. Then he asked me to open the book to a bookmarked page. It was marking a story I had written. He asked me to read it to him.

As I read the story I looked at Merlin. His face “shone like the sun.” It was as if we were reliving today’s scripture story. At that moment we felt the presence of a loving Spirit. We felt beloved. Soon my driving companion arrived. It was time to leave. Merlin and I wanted to remain in that place, though we knew God was calling us to continue our respective ministries. But without that time together and with God, we could not have discovered our true capacity to give.

I am so thankful for the blessings of moments like this. But, I am more thankful for the giftedness of members in those remote communities who live in the Spirit each day.

Prayer for Peace
Loving Spirit, peaceful Spirit, we thank you for your presence where two or three gather. Thank you for the affirming community and the hospitality as taught by Christ.  

Spiritual Practice: Offering Blessings of Community
Receive and share Blessings of Community. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for the relationships in your life. See and feel connections with spiritual friends, people in your congregation and community, and people and creatures in God’s sacred web of life. What blessings flow to you from these circles? How have you felt the love of the community?

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will look to the light of Christ for guidance, and I will not fear the journey.

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Diane Akers

     /  2 March 2014

    Touched by your story! Made me think of the years growing up and different activities that took us into many peoples homes and their welcoming Spirit of Love and sharing.


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