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“My favorite thing to do when I travel is…”IMG_0962

As my friend and I enjoyed the sulfur hot springs outside Reykjavik, Iceland, we met a young man who completed his graduate degree in Idaho and took an adventure before finding himself in the real world.  His trip served the opposite purpose of mine–a transition from real world into graduate studies.

“My favorite thing to do when I travel is sitting in a church and looking up.  I don’t think about God, I just like it.  I don’t know what it is…”

My body held in the shout, “GOD, it is God!”

But my mouth opened, and upon my lips, I spoke, “Peace, a peaceful presence.”  After he agreed, I continued to speak about how when I visit a mosque, I respect the culture I am in and adapt to their customs and wardrobe in the presence of Allah, but indeed I am thinking and praying to God the Father, Jesus Christ.  But indeed, it is the presence of worshipping, a peacefulness, that draws me into a church, cathedral, synagogue, temple, or mosque.

“For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20), I do believe, this young man was encountering, in essence, the presence of the Holy Spirit amongst the people gathered in the name of Christ Jesus.  Perhaps, one day as he finds himself in an international church, he will humble himself before God.  

For us, I see this as a reminder to cherish our time in a House of Prayer.  May we shout “Praise be to You, Abba Father!” as we are free to worship in our travels, to pray in our homes, and to gather in the name of Jesus.  People see God’s House as a site to see, to photograph, when they travel.  If there are stained glass and sculptures in your meeting place, or if it is simply a place that seems safe and peaceful, you will have people coming into the gates.  Remember our call to “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19) and keep in mind, that in this modern world the nations are amongst us, every day.

Jesus, give us the eyes to see wanderers as you see them.  Provide us the courage to speak boldly of your grace in our lives.  May we gather in your name, lift your name in praise and worship, and ask for the hearts of those who have not yet turned their lives to walk with you to submit to getting to know you as Father, Peacemaker, Savior, Teacher, and Friend.  If it would please you LORD identify the sheep you are bringing home, teach us how to share your Truth with them, where in their lives they require your healing power, and in which ways we can serve them.  We adore you Father, and ask boldly, by your standards, not our own. Amen.

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