Welcome Home

Friday, November 7

11-7By Flo McDonald of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, USA

May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus. …Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

—Romans 15:5, 7 NRSV

Opportunities to live in different areas of the USA blessed our family. I attended classes for young mothers on ways to respond to the needs of growing children when it is necessary to relocate. I am grateful for the instructions received. In addition, I learned it was possible to make the transitions without too much trauma.

One idea was to make the move an adventure and have fun. We learned about the environment and visited places of interest in New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Missouri. My husband liked to travel back roads instead of staying on main highways. One day the family made a shopping trip to Phoenix, Arizona. On the way home, the road on which we traveled ran out—it was unfinished!

We had prepared for the trip, or so I thought. The day was hot, and our car did not have air-conditioning. Concern for my family caused me to forget about myself. I assured them I was fine. The time came when I was not fine.

A service station was ahead. We stopped, and I did what experts told us not do in one of our classes. I rapidly drank liquids. Despite my stupidity, the Lord blessed me. I survived. But to this day I cannot stand the heat as well as I once did.

Another lesson learned was to make the new home a familiar place. Familiar objects and pictures helped, as did continuing familiar daily routines. The most help of all came in finding and attending the nearest Community of Christ congregation.

I remember those days, the friendships we made, and experiences of community. I realized that God had heard our prayers and had given our family strength and protection. I never would have known that we could handle so many moves so smoothly. Our faith families welcomed us. I trusted God to remain steadfast no matter where we lived.

Prayer for Peace Welcoming God, it is good to know when we must leave a home, that you will be there waiting for us in our new home. Thank you for our international community with whom we can live in any new place.

Spiritual Practice: Experience Congregations in Mission Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 164:9a–d. Reread the sentence, “If you truly would be Community of Christ, then embody and live the concerns and passion of Christ.” Make a list of the issues you feel mattered most to Christ. Make another list of issues that matter to the people in your congregation. Reflect on the similarities and differences. How can you help align the lists? Throughout the day, as issues arise, ask yourself, “Would this matter to Christ?”

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will welcome the newcomers and help them know they are “home.”

Live in Faith

Sunday, August 11

8-11By Steve Jones, presiding bishop

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

—Hebrews 11:1

“You have Stage four lung cancer,” so the doctor told Merilee, my 61 year-old sister. Her choices were clear. Seek treatment with not much hope for a positive result because of its progression, or turn in faith and walk hand-in-hand with Christ to her Heavenly Parent.

For Merilee, her decision was easy because seven years ago she made another life-changing choice. She made the decision to take Christ’s hand and be baptized. This changed everything. Her life became one of peace, purpose and hope.

All the doctors could promise was another six months to a couple of years. Her faith in Christ was the promise of eternal life. Her decision was easy. She chose the hope of eternal life.

And so Merilee stepped out in faith. She gave up her business of cleaning houses. She sold her mobile home and two-thirds of her earthly possessions. She packed her car, left good friends, and came to our home.

Merilee’s life choices reflected a living faith so she could have the hoped for assurance of eternal life. Her life inspires all of us who know her. Might our life choices reflect our living faith. May we choose what matters most.

Prayer for Peace
Faithful God, how good it is to live with the assurance of your presence. How good it is to pray, knowing you listen. May we choose to leave our burdens with Christ. May we choose to 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 call on you to guide my choices. I will follow your guidance with faith.