by 4G Core Team member Deacon Koren Lindley
The Living Lutheran magazine for Jan/Feb 2022 has a brief article in it called “A Time to Pay Attention” written by Chris Michaelis.* It is a wonderful article that talks about noticing the ways God appears to us, especially during Epiphany. The author begins by talking about how when going on a walk around the neighborhood, his 2 year old child always has his head up and looking around. The child asks questions about what things are and what they are called. His curiosity and wonder are evident in each step he takes.
The author then shares how he has a habit of looking down while he walks and extends that to how he hunches over his cellphone or puts his elbows on his desk at work. He calls this a posture of folding inward which prevents him from seeing God’s handiwork. He is not looking up and out towards God, he is closed in and perhaps missing so many opportunities to see God at work
As Christians, we want to see signs of God’s presence and generosity. We look for God through service opportunities and through praying for others. We have faith formation opportunities where we wait to hear God come to us through spiritual practices. We look at tragedy and look for where a spark of God’s light can be found. We truly want to see signs of God’s presence. We want to see that shining star that the wise men saw so long ago.
I encourage you to choose a word to dwell on, to guide you in recognizing God’s presence in your life. Maybe your household or family or Bible study group chooses a word together. You might hear or see God guiding you toward a word, or a word might stick out to you in your daily devotion or Bible reading. Once you receive your word, you are invited to be still with it, ponder it, look it up in a dictionary to see what your word might encompass. Feel the excitement of beginning a new year or a new month with this word. Consider it a gift from God, a reminder of how generous God is to us, a way for you to look for God in your life and out in the world within the context of the word.
Just like the wise men brought gifts to the Christ-child in response to God’s great gift to them, and all people, of Jesus. You can be given a gift of a word from God…how will you respond to this gift?