Meditation and Prayer
by Mark Lloyd Taylor, Ph.D.
My brothers and sisters, may God be with you! The sacred scriptures of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions all tell stories or pass along sayings about hospitality. I invite us to muse on those scriptures this week.
In the Gospel according to St. Luke, for example, we read that Jesus the son of Mary (peace be upon him), after he was raised from the dead, fell in walking with two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus, but they failed to recognize him [Luke 24:13-35]. The three conversed together as they walked, talking about the scriptures and Jesus’ life and death and resurrection. Although their hearts began to burn within them, still the two did not recognize Jesus. Only sitting at table, at the end of their journey, when Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to them, were their eyes opened.
Sisters and brothers, these words from our holy books encourage me and challenge me this week. Guided by the stories of Abraham and Sarah, of Jesus, and of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them all), let us pray:
Blessed are you, O God, ruler of the universe and our maker.
You bestow upon us from your bounty the gifts of food and fellowship.
Surprise us this week with the birth of new and unexpected beginnings.
Open our eyes this week to all that is holy, hidden right in front of us.
Call us back this week from our wasteful ways;
send us out in compassion to those brothers and sisters
whom we have deprived of food and conversation.
O Holy One of Blessing, teach us all, Jews, Christians, Muslims,
that eating and talking together can create harmony among our peoples.
Grant this, most merciful God, for the sake of your righteous name.
School of Theology and Ministry Prayer Cycle: We pray today for the Theology in an Ecumenical Context class taught by Michael Kinnamon; Mike Raschko, faculty; Catherine Smith, staff; Tina Alvarado, graduate assistant; Andrew Lundquist and Gretchen Luoma Cohan, students.