January 3

“The Lord will send his angel with you and make your way successful.”  Genesis 24:40

“Jesus says, ‘Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.’”  Luke 10:3

There is a story told by Mother Teresa.  A group of professors from the United States were visiting her in Calcutta.  They asked what they could do in their daily lives to make them better people.  She told them to smile at people.  She added that we are too busy to even look at each other, so LOOK and each other and SMILE.  One then asked her if she had ever been married.  She answered yes, and that sometimes it is hard to smile at Jesus because he, too, can be very demanding. 

A close, high school friend once told me that she was frightened as a young girl to hear stories about missionaries at her church.  She felt preaching in foreign lands, living far away from family, facing hardship and danger, lay ahead for all Christians, and therefore, herself.  Some pastors were asked to start new churches in difficult neighborhoods. 

Jesus himself received the ultimate “call” and went – came, to us – like a lamb into the midst of wolves.

We may not be called to “faraway places with strange sounding names”.  But we cannot foresee where we will feel led during this new year.  What issues and concerns might pull us to speak out and help?  What might we have to cope with?  What demands might be made on our faith and trust? 

Today’s verses demand that we go with a promise of God’s presence, God’s angels, to protect us on our way.

“Our God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast and our eternal home.

“Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure.
Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure.”  Amen    

(prayer text:  Isaac Watts)

Verla Olson