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Daily Devotional • May 13

Michael Smith
Neighborhood Mission
A Reading from Romans 15:1-13

1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves; 2 let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to edify him. 3 For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached thee fell on me.” 4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7 Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

“Therefore I will praise thee among the Gentiles,
and sing to thy name”;

10 and again it is said,

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people”;

11 and again,

“Praise the Lord, all Gentiles,
and let all the peoples praise him”;

12 and further Isaiah says,

“The root of Jesse shall come,
he who rises to rule the Gentiles;
in him shall the Gentiles hope.”

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor. … May God … grant you to live in harmony with one another. … Welcome one another just as Christ has welcomed you.

I recently heard a delightful presentation from Canon J. John, an evangelist from the Church of England. He has traveled the globe “presenting the good news of Jesus Christ in such a way that people are led to receive Christ as Savior and follow Christ as Lord in the fellowship of the Church,” as stated in the official definition of evangelism of the Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church. Canon John admitted that while only about one percent of Christians do what he does, all Christians are called to engage in the ministry of evangelism according to our circumstances. For the vast majority of us sharing the good news of Jesus Christ begins at home or next door. Our mission field is the neighborhood!

Particularly, in a culture as divided as ours, looking out for one another can make all the difference in the world. According to J. John, inquiries like “I was thinking about you. How are you doing?” and questions like, “I heard your son is ill. Can I ask my church to pray for him?” can open up conversations and relationships which reflect the love of God and open people to the power of the Spirit. Simply treating our neighbors as we would like to be treated can have eternal consequences.

Michael G. Smith served as bishop of North Dakota for 15 years and is currently assists in the dioceses of Dallas and Albany. He is a Benedictine Oblate and an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Ten wonderful grandchildren call him “Papa Mike.”

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

The Diocese of Sur – Iglesia Anglicana de Chile
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Austin, Texas
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