Focus Verses: 35-36 – “For I was hungry and you game me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
Reflection: I was praying for some divine inspiration for a couple of weeks as March 29 th approached – this year was the 10th Anniversary of my father’s passing from stomach cancer and we were going to have a family memorial service outside at his gravesite and I was to share a short message and reflection.
Then while doing QT on March 23rd, I read these verses again and on so many different levels this was the divine answer to my prayers. Of course, NHC is taking some time to pray and discern on what it means to be a Matthew 25 church and congregation with respect to congregational vitality, racism and poverty and this is the passage that inspired this initiative. Next, there are many anti-AAPI acts of violence these days and what
should be our response to these acts of hate and what would the bible say? Also, my father and his ministry on earth are well described by this passage. Finally, this is Lent and Passion Week and this was a very timely lesson from Jesus. On so many levels this was the message to share with my mother and brother and his family and my own family.
I wanted God to speak to my children and nephew and nieces – the grandchildren of my father, with two of them being too young to remember all the vital details of my father’s
time on this earth. The twelve of us took turns reading the bible verses and did some comprehension checks and some sharing on the passage. We talked about how my father had impact on their lives and for others and in society in general. We talked about how each of us could help during these turbulent times. Overall the devotion was a blessing and exceeded our expectations, as we felt God's presence.
It was windy and overcast during most of the event outside at the end of sharing and before the closing prayer by my brother, the sun came out at the right time and it was all to the Lord.
The same basic principles that applied for our normal/monthly family devotion also applied to this special 10th Memorial Service for my father. Praying for patience and understanding along with some preparation was the key to the successful devotion. We agreed that people did not have to share if they were uncomfortable on a certain topic or question but that everyone would share at least one item and that was soon exceeded as the kids spoke freely and often along with my mother and other parents. Unlike our previous family devotions we did add signing Amazing Grace which was my father’s favorite hymn and it was another
blessing All in all, it was a fruitful time based on the Lord’s word and message and bridged the generations. I pray that others too are experiencing the blessing of individual and family devotions.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your shining example and saving grace. Please open our eyes and hearts to see and care for the all the people that matter to you. Let us be faithful and motivated to love and help the needy. May we please you and all those in heaven who earnestly want to see us live well. We ask for good health and excellent grades and blessed careers and patience and love and understanding of others. In Your name, amen.