Devotion provided by Bishop Leila M. Ortiz.
Jesus speaks to his disciples of coming persecutions and says,
“See, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16.
Imagine that formula for action. As sheep in the midst of wolves, “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
No matter how we voted, this election has left us all with eyes wide open to the reality of a polarized nation. Some have found themselves in a state of shock at the realization of such divides. Others have found themselves feeling defeated and at the brink of despair; perplexed by the realization that their country is not what or how they perceived it to be. Still others may now engage society and feel like sheep in the midst of wolves: paranoid, afraid, and unsettled.
To us all Jesus offers a directive, “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
Imagine this next season of social and ecclesial engagement.
Imagine engaging in ways that are wise, judicious, and informed; in ways that are also tender, compassionate, and full of boundless love.
Imagine what it would look like to live and lead in ways that acknowledge and name the truth of our society, ecclesiology, and complicity in what is no longer working for the greater good.
Imagine breaking down walls and bridging divides in Jesus’ name.
Imagine uniting our informed voices even when our voices shake and our bodies quake.
Imagine embodying justice, mercy, humility, and hope when it’s hardest.
Imagine proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ even, and especially when it presents as a risk.
Imagine believing God’s call is upon your life right now, even and especially when it’s inconvenient, uncomfortable, and unpleasant; when you may feel like sheep among wolves.
Time for Silent Meditation
Questions to Ponder:
What would it look like for you as a leader, teacher, parent, and neighbor to respond to the world “wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove”?
What do you need or who do you need to connect with to grow in wisdom and tenderness?
What would it look like to believe in your heart and bones that you have been called for no other time; to believe you have been called for such a time as this?
Let us pray
out of your great love for the world,
your Word became flesh to live among us
and to reconcile us to you and to one another.
Rekindle among us the gift of your Spirit
that we might live as one new humanity in Christ,
dismantling the walls that divide,
ending the hostility between us,
and proclaiming peace to those who are near
and to those who are far away;
through Christ Jesus, in whom we all have access,
in the one Spirit to you,
both now and forever. Amen.
(Holden Prayer around the Cross, p. 132-33)