Pause

Everyone has needs.
We need a comforting arm or a companion for the journey;
a safe dwelling place or a square meal;
a time of rest or rededication.
From every community, every family, every economic level,
people seek help,
a source of fulfillment for the things they lack.
God invites us into a life of abundance,
where all can be filled,
and where all will be called
to become helpers, too.

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Listen

Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of anger will fail.
Those who are generous are blessed,
for they share their bread with the poor.

Proverbs 22:8-9

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Think

Most of us may not be familiar with gardening or farming vocabulary, but we know exactly what it means to scatter or spread something, the way a farmer sows seeds. These days, we scatter information almost constantly. We may broadcast our big news of the day in a status update, or share a brand-new favorite photo, or even — if we’re not careful — spread gossip or rumors.

Even in Old Testament days, people “sowed” negativity. In the same way a gardener would scatter seed on soil, some people scattered injustice, bias, hatred, abuse, sin. In the same way that a gardener would return to gather up the full-grown harvest, those who allowed injustice to grow were promised a harvest of anger and disaster.
But they — and we — have a choice. Instead of pain, we can choose to scatter love. We can be generous, sharing bread with those who are hungry, spreading hope and comfort and good news. Those seeds will take root, and grow, and yield a feast of blessing.

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

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Pray

When I am tempted to spread negative information, hateful thoughts, or unfairness, God, help me to stop and put away those unjust seeds. Help me instead to be a broadcaster of blessings. Amen.

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Go

As the hands and feet of God,
we put our faith to work in service to the world,
trusting in the One who has helped us,
named us,
and called us
to lead us to those in need.
Let us love as God loves:
with hands ready to get dirty,
with feet ready to walk far,
with eyes ready to see hardship,
with hearts ready to receive.
Let us love as God loves:
with lives ready to serve.

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair is an ordained Baptist minister, wife to a US Navy chaplain, and stay-home mom to two little boys. In every new duty station, she participates in church life from VBS to pulpit supply, and is regularly involved in women’s ministries and writing. She blogs seasonal devotions at The Ordinary Times.

The Giver

Clay Mottley

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