Times Change

Friday, August 1

8-1By Cindy Thomas of Independence, Missouri, USA

…they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

—Isaiah 2:4 NRSV

Responsible Choices is one of Community of Christ’s Enduring Principles. In the past, my husband and I never would have imagined choosing to let our teenage son hang out with a former prison inmate. But times change, and we learn.

A man in our congregation was mentoring and helping a man following his parole from prison. One night our son joined in helping this man set up a television, DVD player, and other electronic equipment not even available when he entered prison.

Did we make a responsible choice by allowing him to do this? Yes! We are part of a congregation of accepting and outreaching disciples who choose to engage in prison ministry with men and women society have locked away. We teach our son not to judge others but to be of service when someone needs us. We were affirming the worth of this man by helping him adjust to his new life.

Times change. This new life led to this man’s ordination and ministry to many others.

Prayer for Peace Forgiving God, help us to see past the prison bars to the faces of the people behind them—the face of Christ. Help us let them know you love them. Help us encourage them to make peace and seek you, their Creator.

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. Ask for a blessing to live this day responsibly and compassionately in the Spirit of Christ.

Peace Covenant Today God, as I think of turning swords into plowshares, I will turn silence into words of encouragement, despair into dignity, isolation into community, for a person left on the margins.

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