As the world prepares for the celebration of our Savior's birth, He is in my thoughts. Whatever you believe about Him, whether you believe He is divine or just a mortal~ "a good teacher with high ideals" ~it is clear from all accounts that His life was spent in the service of others, making the world a better place. I find His example not only deeply humbling, but also profoundly inspiring.
One thing He did often was pray for those in need. Not just for Himself, His family, His friends and His followers, but for the poor, the broken, the hungry, the outcasts. The blatant sinners. All of us. And those prayers weren't empty words with high hopes... They were accompanied by ACTION! Literally, by His own blood, sweat and tears. His own agony. He spent himself in every way to bring about our salvation. His prayers, His service, the miracles He performed on behalf of others weren't easy or convenient and then well... on with His own life and back to His own self interest. And He didn't spend His entire ministry in a church, a temple or a synagogue, blessing blessed believers and serving the saved. He, Himself, was an outcast, precisely because of his counterculturalism. He was a radical. He did not accept the status quo. He went out and changed it. By changing people. By loving them for who they are. Where they're at. Teaching us a better way. The only way.
I believe that when we pray sincerely for others, we have to be willing to accept responsibility and stewardship to BE a part of the answer to that prayer. To roll up our sleeves and get dirty in the process. To do the work. To make the sacrifice. To accept the inconvenience. Sometimes even the frustration. The exhaustion. We must be willing to follow the promptings and inspiration we WILL recieve... Every. Single. Time.
I believe we are all children of living, loving Heavenly Parents. And as such, their highest hope for each of us is that we will come together as a family, as brothers and sisters in spirit, and truly care for one another. In word AND in deed. I'm still figuring out what that looks like in my own life and family, but I believe it starts with a prayer, "What can we DO? How can WE help?" 🙏🏻