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A Guest’s Gifts

Today’s Reflection

MY DAD’S FAVORITE Gospel story — the text of his last sermon — shows Jesus again breaking bread, this time at a friend’s dinner table. That afternoon on the road to Emmaus, he and said friend Cleopas have seemingly happened upon each other, though Cleopas thinks he is walking with a stranger who hasn’t heard the week’s news: about the crucified prophet and now his missing corpse. Even hearing Jesus’ scriptural interpretations, Cleopas remains clueless until the man he invites to stay for supper takes a lead role — picking up, blessing, and breaking the day’s loaf. As recorded, it isn’t Jesus’ profile, gait, cadence, or teaching that prompts recognition. Cleopas notes something unique and sacred in Jesus’ hands. Does he see nail prints? Or something more familiar from earlier days — the way he handles bread? I propose that as Jesus broke bread, host Cleopas recognized the wounds and the gifts of a guest.

God, whether I’m a hostess or a guest, I’m breaking bread with wounded but wonder-working companions. Open my eyes to see the message revealed in their broken or breaking hands.

– Evelyn Bence
Room at My Table

From page 77 of Room at My Table: Preparing Heart and Home for Christian Hospitality by Evelyn Bence. Copyright © 2014 by Evelyn Bence. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray the prayer at the end of today’s excerpt. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died.

2 Corinthians 5:14, NRSV

This Week: pray for those who need comfort. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Anthony of Padua (June 13).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Jill June 16, 2018, 4:05 am

    Father – attune my senses to be more acutely aware of what others bring to conversation, life. Remove my awareness of me, humble me. Might the other I am listening, willing to draw from their depths.
    Father – continue to surround Julie and her daughter in the days ahead.
    Grateful for an impromptu lunch with a friend yesterday, a lot of time spent on yardwork and flower beds in the evening. My parents took a day trip with my mom’s sister and husband yesterday – the first of this nature. They went to an Amish community about an hour away, had lunch and did a bit of shopping. If mom’s energy is good today, we are meeting for lunch.
    Dad and I played golf Thursday morning, and his cousin joined us. It was a beautiful summer day and was grateful for the time with dad.

  • Julie June 16, 2018, 8:09 am

    I am lost, please find me Lord and lead me down the path you have for me. The life you planned while I was still in my mother’s womb. I am at my wit’s end and my life is in such turmoil. I am lost.
    Please pray for me and thank you for your prayers.
    Prayers for Jill, thankful Gloria is enjoying time with family and friends. Thankful Jill can spend time with her father.
    Prayers for Mary and her job. May it be less stressful in the coming week.
    Prayers for Marcy and her lack of posts. May she be receiving needed care.
    Prayers for all who visit this wonderful group of friends

  • Connie June 16, 2018, 8:14 am

    We are facing a heat wave here, but we are comfortable. A large tree shades our backyard and the rabbits and squirrels flatten themselves out on the cool grass.
    I picture the day when Jesus lays his beautiful hands on my head and blesses me….that is my hope.
    Glad Jill’s family is doing well and that she had an early Father’s Day golf outing with her Dad. Precious moments.
    Blessings to all the Dads on this special weekend. I lost my “Daddy” in ’76 at the age of 61, but the years I had with him were wonderful and I thank God for him.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling June 16, 2018, 9:08 am

    Julie, may God calm you in your storm.

    May all be well and blessings to you

  • Sara June 16, 2018, 1:08 pm

    Julie, heartfelt prayers for you. May God be with you and show you the way to peace. God Bless.

  • Andrea June 16, 2018, 4:50 pm

    Gracious God, I pray you will give Julie the assurance that she is safe in Your care, that Your plan for her is only for good. I pray too for Marcy; I pray You will breathe on her Your breath and fill her with life anew. I pray for all UR friends, and for those for whom they pray. I give thanks for this community of prayer warriors who hold one another up in prayer and who seek to walk faithfully in Your way as demonstrated by Jesus Christ. Give us strength and discernment. Sara, it is good to see your comment.

    Blessings, Robert, this Fathers Day weekend; blessings Rusty; blessings, all fathers, uncles, grandparents, and father figures.

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