The halls at school are a study of opposites.

They are either filled with people walking, running, talking, bumping along — a sea of humanity with differing currents.

Or they are eerily empty and quiet.

Notice how your life reflects this same dichotomy of hustle and hush.

And notice where you encounter God in both.

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Then Jesus said to the person who had invited him, “When you host a lunch or dinner, don’t invite your friends, your brothers and sisters, your relatives, or rich neighbors. If you do, they will invite you in return and that will be your reward. Instead, when you give a banquet, invite the poor, crippled, lame, and blind. And you will be blessed because they can’t repay you. Instead, you will be repaid when the just are resurrected.”

Luke 14:12-14

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Have your parents ever made you invite a classmate to your birthday party — someone you would rather keep at a distance? That can be a real challenge.

But Jesus asks us to do just that: to reach out to the person we disagree with, dislike, don’t understand, or don’t have much in common with. Jesus invites us to seek out the less popular, the invisible, the socially awkward.


Because we are blessed by these people. Our invitation is not the blessing; their challenging presence is. We learn so much more from the margins than we ever could in our comfort zones. It’s a hard place to be, but the blessing is real, and we are transformed.

Lauren Holder

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My God, you are the God of all people — even and especially the people I ignore. Give me eyes to see who you see and a heart to love who you love. Amen.

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Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

Dan Schutte in “Here I am Lord” (1995)

Lauren Holder

The Rev. Canon Lauren Holder is an Episcopal priest at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, Georgia. She loves exploring the world with her husband through the eyes of their small children, and sharing good food with good friends.

Be Still My Soul

Rodrigo Rodriguez

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