New House, New Chapter

Thursday, September 11

9-11By Peggy Michael of Cantonment, Florida, USA

He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

—Luke 14:12–14 NRSV

What time is it, I wondered? A time of old age might describe my answer—or it might be time for a fresh start. I realize it is up to me to choose how I view this interlude in my life. It gives me something to think about.

I have lived through many interesting seasons, and I value each one. Once my husband and I put down roots, we stayed. We lived in one house 40 years, and raised our family there. Then I moved into another house for 10 years.

With each move I faced the challenge of sorting trash from treasure. We lived modestly, and tried to practice good stewardship. Still, the inventory grew beyond my need. So I enlisted the help of friends, family, and even a few strangers and shared useful items with them. I set my space in order and settled in for the last time, I thought.

To my astonishment two major events happened to me. My call to the office of evangelist came first. Then my son suggested we gather our financial resources and build a modest cottage next to his home. I moved in, and my colleague evangelists and I are planning a house blessing service as soon as possible.

God enabled me to prepare this sacred space for God’s children. I will invite the weary to stop by and rest with God for a while. It will be a place of solitude and prayer. Together we will recognize that God is holy and worthy of our worship and devotion. How can I help but offer the place where I live to those who need affirmation, love, and peace.

What time is it? It is time to write a new chapter of life with zeal and anticipation of continuing my journey with our beloved Savior.

Prayer for Peace Create in us, O God, hospitality for the stranger. Make of us sanctuaries of Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Welcoming Unity in Diversity Meditate on Unity in Diversity. Create a large circle with your arms. See and feel the diverse people God invites inside the sanctuary of Christ’s peace represented by this circle.

Who is easiest to welcome? Whom do you struggle to include? Confess the dividing walls between you and people too different or “dangerous” to invite into your spiritual home. Ask God to forgive and heal barriers that keep us from loving one another.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will plan a feast for hungry souls.

 

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1 Comment

  1. Carol Norris Vincent

     /  11 September 2014

    Peggy, I so appreciated your message today. In many ways it parallels my understanding of the seasons of my life over the past 10 years. Indeed, when we learned of my husband’s cancer, the Lord brought Eccl. 3 (“for everything there’s a season…) to my mind, and it has guided me ever since. Each season has brought something for me — whether it was pain that enabled me to grow or joy that lifted my spirits. I too have downsized — more times than you have — and what will probably be my next to last one (my last one will be when I moved from assisted living to long-term care) has brought me many blessings and special opportunities for ministries that I did not have before in my busy life. God bless you in your willingness to welcome others into your home.

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