Reflection for Friday 18th November 2022

Nigel Price

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Hebrews 13.1-3

Service Well-Pleasing to God

Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.

Reflection

That’s not a bad discipline, isn’t it.  Before you consider those less fortunate than yourselves, before you perhaps pass judgment on some of the life choices that they have made, put yourself in their position.

Like me, some of you might have been watching the BBC series ‘The English’.  It is beautifully filmed, capturing the wild and empty scenery of early America, that is the early America of the white man.  Even if the story is a little hard to follow and rather bleak in nature, it captures the mood of those early settlers who dared not trust anyone they met. Very much a ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ approach.

How different is the Christian community where there is the opportunity to radiate an engaging warmth, even if that is viewed as eccentric by a worldly onlooker.

As Christians we are called to love one another in spite of our differences.  In the Rule of Benedict, monks are instructed that ‘all guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me’.  As Christians we rejoice in that glorious opportunity to see the Christ in everyone that we meet.

So here is a project for this weekend; smile at everyone you meet, smile at that friend you spot coming towards you, smile at that rival you recognise, the one who always argues with you, the one you always try to avoid, the obnoxious one with their bigoted views.  Find the Christ in them, however deeply hidden it may be.

It is the Feast of Elizabeth of Hungary, so we pray the Collect:

The Collect

Lord God,
who taught Elizabeth of Hungary
to recognize and reverence Christ in the poor of this world:
by her example strengthen us to love and serve the afflicted and the needy
and so to honour your Son, the servant king,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen