What Do You Do With One?

Continuing with our Advent theme, I’ve been thinking about the angels involved. Many depictions of angels have them as these very sleek, stylish young surfer dudes with impeccable hair instead of the intimidating, fear-inducing, warrior messengers that would have merited a “Do not be afraid” when they entered the room. These messengers were the bold scouts that were willing to jump through into enemy territory to deliver messages of utmost importance, “Don’t lay a hand on the boy,” “Your boy will lead Israel and be a Nazarite,” “Walk around the city seven times,” “Your child will prepare the way for the Messiah,” “Your child will be the Messiah.”

In a way, we are like the angels in that Jesus, our King, has charged us with being ambassadors, messengers, to the world around us announcing that the King is on His throne and is now ruling. We have been told to “go,” but have we?

Our church has been practicing something called “Pray for One.” It’s a simple concept where every day each member of our congregation prays “God, give me one person to share your love with today.” And then, we keep our eyes open and spring into action when the person presents themselves. Sometimes it’s as simple as a friendly greeting to a cashier, or as big as inviting that cashier’s family to dinner at your house. Regardless, it’s about being given a charge and taking responsibility for our attitude all the time, because we can never be sure when this person will arrive.

This reminds me of a parable Jesus told in Matthew 25:14-30. He told of a master who gave differing amounts of money to several servants. He gave them different amounts, based on what he felt they could handle. In the end, two of the servants had invested and come back with more than they had been given. The last servant, however, had buried his share and returned it, slightly scuffed, to his master. This last servant was rebuked and sent away. I wonder if we can’t see this as applying to the people in our lives. If we are praying for one, what do we do when that one appears? What if it’s a close friend, or a passing acquaintance? What fears, insecurities, and questions paralyze us and cause us to put off the interaction? Do we bury the opportunity, or do we invest?

So as we reflect on Advent, the “coming,” let’s also reflect on our role as messengers. The angels braved enemy territory to deliver their messages of hope, of joy, of deliverance. Are we willing to risk the same? Are we willing to boldly share God’s love to one person each and every day? Are we willing to pray that prayer knowing that God will answer it?

Photo Credit: Parable of the Talents. Mironov.jpg via Wikimedia Commons


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