Martin Luther maintained that we bear the face of Christ to the neighbor. But Luther equally maintained that the neighbor bears the face of Christ to us. That means the street person neighbor, the Muslim neighbor, the grocery clerk neighbor, the neighbor in the pew beside us. We are always both seeing and being Christ: seeing Christ in the neighbor and being Christ to the neighbor. That puts Christians in a permanent state of high alert: We never know when or where or through whom the Spirit manifests herself next. It might even be you!
The only way to sustain this state of high alert is to pay intentional attention. This practice invites us to see the world through “Spirit-colored glasses.” Scripture trains our eyes and tunes our hearts to see where the Spirit is at work.
The Spirit of God in Christ Jesus works in mysterious ways, and a steady diet of Scripture conspires with a steady practice of reflection to keep us alert to its movements.
This message is excerpted from “Expect surprises” by Martha E. Stortz in the May 2015 Gather magazine.
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