Day 9 - February 25
WTS current student, anticipated MTS 2021; Wesley Council Donor; Elder, National Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC
|Morning Theme Song:||
Receive and Recount
~ Matt. 7:7-12, Psalm 138
Near the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus returns to the topic of prayer emphasizing that everyone who asks of God receives (7:8). This receiving, lambanō in the Greek, is a taking of what’s offered; the same word used in “take up your cross” (Matt.10:38). Jesus promises that what we receive will be good for us (7:11), but there is no promise that it will be easy. In fact, he follows this promise with his positive statement of the Golden Rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (7:12), which requires active involvement in the welfare of other people. What we receive from God – mercy, grace, love, salvation – are gifts to be given to others. Giving and receiving are a package deal for the faithful, but there is an added bonus - joy. A thanksgiving for answered prayer, Psalm 138 expresses the joy of this reciprocity. In ebullient song it recounts God’s steadfast love and faithfulness, and God’s gifts of strength and purpose shared with the downtrodden.
Christian reciprocity means we must recount for others and listen to their recountings. In his Message on Migrants, Pope Francis reflected on this mutuality inherent in Christ’s Golden Rule, saying, “Concern for fostering good relationships with others and the ability to overcome prejudice and fear are essential ingredients for promoting the culture of encounter, in which we are not only prepared to give, but also to receive from others. Hospitality, in fact, grows from both giving and receiving.” Receiving and recounting, we share God’s hospitality and joy.
Prayer for Reflection:
Lord, may I receive and recount
what you want to be heard,
to put into words your works,
and into works your Word.