Advent 3, Monday, Year A

Inspired by Acts 5:12-16

“Now many signs and wonders were done among the people through the apostles.  And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico.  None of the rest dared to join them, but the people held them in high esteem.  Yet more than ever believers were added to the Lord, great numbers of both men and women.”  Acts 5:12-14 (NRSV)

There are many needs in the world, and many people praying to God for his help and mercy.  While God can answer prayers in miraculous ways, he more often chooses to answer prayers through his followers.

Yet sometimes that can be intimidating, particularly when a Christian is answering God’s call in an extraordinary way.  Those who come to believe in the power and mercy of God question their own ability to follow him in such a dramatic way, and therefore refrain from fully participating in the body of Christ.

However the needs of the world are many and varied, and each and every one of us is able to meet some of them.  Perhaps we don’t have the power to heal, or the power to persuade with our words.  Perhaps we can’t make large donations of money or time that will change the balance in a worldwide injustice.  But we can show kindness and mercy to those in our lives, both our loved ones and strangers we encounter in the course of a day.  We can love others as Christ loved us, and proclaim his love for all through our ordinary deeds.

God chose to enter into human history as a humble infant born to a peasant teenager belonging to a conquered nation.  He understands and appreciates the limitations of his people, even as he invites us to participate in something much greater than we could ever accomplish on our own.  Don’t be intimidated by how others answer the call of God; answer his call in your own way, using the gifts and abilities he gave you.

Let us pray.  God of encouragement, you call us to follow you.  Grant us confidence in the abilities you gave us, that we may proclaim your love in our own lives and circumstances.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.